"Much work has been done on the 1994 Rwandan genocide both under ICTR and the Rwandan justice system. Among the crimes committed during genocide in Rwanda was the crime of rape. However, considering the rate of mass rape committed, there are few cases of rape prosecuted so far compared to other crimes of the same gravity, and nothing has been said about the causes of the low rate reporting of this crime by the victims. A Gacaca court, which is a traditional justice system, is also involved in prosecuting the crime of genocide and other crimes against humanity. This is a traditional justice system/community system, which is also a tool of reconciliation through revealing information about the crimes committed during genocide. This applies to rape victims who will be required to recount their experiences before the community court. On the other hand, the perpetrator may recount the crime he committed for the sake of sentence commutation. Whichever way, the rape victims will either face Gacaca courts through this procedure or go without accessing justice. Given the small number of individuals who have formally sought legal redress, one can safely assume that most survivors in Rwanda have not come forward, and live with trauma alone, and in silence. This paper has highlighted the gaps in the Rwandan justice system in relation to rape victims. Further still, the researcher has laboured to establish the causes of the low rate of rape cases brought before courts in Rwanda. The impact of the Gacaca justice system in relation to rape reporting has also been discussed. International human rights instruments relating to rights of both the accused and the victim have been considered and where loopholes appear, an alternative legal approach, which may provide security and confidentiatlity for the victims to achieve justice, has been proposed." -- Chapter 1.
Prepared under the supervision of Dr. Baker G. Wairama, Faculty of Law, Makerere University
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2003.