Students in the International Experience course “Peace, Justice and Reconciliation in Rwanda” met with Tharcisse Karugarama, the Rwandan Minister of Justice on May 12. As reported by the New Times, the Minister petitioned students to act as Rwanda’s ambassadors on the socioeconomic transformation the country has undergone.
During their visit, Karugarama enlightened students about the pre-genocidal regimes that were characterized by unqualified judges, most of whom were high-school dropouts, and today’s regime that has a professionalized judicial system. He attributed notable peace in the country to the unprecedented success of the Gacaca semi-traditional courts, where up to 1.5 million Genocide-related cases were resolved.
Dr. Angela Kachuyevski, Assistant Director of the International Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) program, and Sandra Jones, Program Coordinator, led students on the weeklong experience that began on May 9. Prior to departing, students spent time studying the intersections between development, international law, and conflict transformation, and their impact on post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation. They also examined whether sustainable peace is possible in Rwanda.