Meeting with Mr. Benoît Kaboyi, Director of Ibuka’s Justice Department and Mr. Philibert Gakwenzire, Director of Ibuka’s Memory and Documentation Department.
Ibuka is an umbrella organisation for the survivor organisations in Rwanda, representing them at national and international levels. Ibuka means ‘remember’. Ibuka was created in 1995 in order to address issues of justice, memory, social and economic problems faced by survivors. Kaboyi and Gakwenzire talked to Never Again about the relationship between Ibuka and the ICTR, as well describing their work building partnerships with survivors of other conflicts.
Recent controversy with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
Mr. Kaboyi explained that Ibuka used to work together with the Prosecution Office of the ICTR, helping them find and communicate with the victims. Last year Ibuka suspended this collaboration in protest about the ill treatment of witnesses. Ibuka argue that women and girls who had suffered rape were asked inappropriate questions when they arrived at the Registration Office. Ibuka cite the example of 21st of November 2001when a widow called T.A. was giving testimony at the ICTR. The defense attorney asked questions that traumatized her and her answers were laughed at .
Ibuka also claim that there are security problems with the testimonies given at the ICTR. Testimonies are given in Arusha and information given reaches the ears of people in the areas of the witnesses. There is a problem with the protection of witnesses once they have returned to their house. There is also the problem of inequality between the standard of care given to the perpetrators detained by the ICTR, and their victims suffering in Rwanda. Particularly those women infected with HIV/AIDS through rape.
Ibuka campaigns for a reformed ICTR. Corruption is a problem and Ibuka argues that the ICTR is like a business for many involved. Ibuka alleges that some perpetrators are working for the Tribunal They demand a personnel change, something that has not happened despite their demands and the fact that they provided the ICTR with a list of those working for the Tribunal who committed genocide. An example was given of a man called Biroto who worked for a defense attorney. He conducted genocide in Butare and when he traveled to Butare as an investigator for the defense a survivor recognized him. The ICTR investigated Biroto and arrested him. But the fact still remains that he had been working for them from 1995-2001.
Ibuka’s creates links between Rwanda and other post-genocide societies
Ibuka has held two international conferences: in 1998 on ‘The Genocide of Tutsi in Rwanda’ and in 2001 ‘Life After Death’. Many experts and victims of genocide from around the world attended including participants from Bosnia, USA, Cambodia, and Jewish people. An international network was created of victims, experts, anti genocide organizations. The network is designed to fight against genocide.
Mr. Gakwenzire and Mr. Kaboyi wished Never Again a good fight. They said that there would be those who try and make our fight hard and said that if we put together our forces we will succeed.
||The Genocide Memory and Testimony
||AVEGA Association for the support of Widows and Orphans of the Genocide
||National University of Rwanda
||The Ministry of Education
||The Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport
||Ministry of Justice and Institutional Relations
|National Unity and Reconciliation Commission
||Centre for Conflict Management
|Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Co-operation