International criminal tribunal for Rwanda as international peace mediator

Essay, 2009

5 Pages, Grade: A-



ICTR as International Peace Mediator

Karina Oborune

“You can’t eat peace”


In the last fifteen years performance of mediators in the circumstances of lack of specialized training and background information has proved that UN ad hoc quality is too dependent on „trial and error“ (UNSC, 2009: 15). The case of ethno-political conflict in Rwanda (Baechler, 1998: 26) and performance of International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is one of such examples.

UN Security Council Resolution 955 (UNSC, 1994: 1) as an aim set to achieve reconciliation and maintenance of peace. Unfortunately this aim has not been achieved: many people do not know about ICTR and those who know do not evaluate ICTR as successive in reconciliation. Only 36 per cent of Rwandans see any reconciliation (Cobban, 2006: 22-28). Moreover, over 80 per cent of Rwandans know little or nothing about the work of the ICTR (Sisson, 2006: 9).

Author of this essay has chosen to deal with a comprehensive task to evaluate ICTR as a mediator. In this case ICTR is international, completely independent ‚outside’ mediator (Swisspeace/CSS, 2009: 3). Author has emphasized following five weaknesses of ICTR: lack of protection, lack of material support, lack of psychological support, lack of gender-perspective and need for education programmes. In the final part author drafted questions which should be asked by mediator.


The first issue author would like to discuss is one of the ICTR’s most serious shortcomings: lack of witness protection. Mediator’s task is “to put measures in place and act in such a way that the safety and security is protected ’’ (Swisspeace/CSS, 2009: 12) and “judicial action shall be undertaken against the culprits after the thorough investigation” (Women’s Charter: 6). On contrary, witnesses have been isolated harassed, threatened and even assassinated by their community. For example, over two hundred genocide survivors were killed in 1996. This was because ICTR’s witness protection program was created insufficiently. For example, there was only one person assigned to Kigali, therefore it is hard task for one person to protect thousands of victims and witnesses in this city (Cobban: 2003/2004).

Also Rwandan diplomat Martin Ngoga identifies this as most troubling: “They promise them security. But what is “security”?” Woman who’s been a victim of rape needs much more than physical security, she especially needs HIV treatment and counseling. Moreover, witnesses have been dying from lack of HIV treatment. “We have cases that will last another five years, and the witnesses are actually dying. We also have cases of witnesses being threatened and killed after testifying.” (Cobban: 2003/2004)


“You can’t eat peace” – this type of arguments are widely shared in Rwanda and other countries emerging from violent conflicts (Zorbas, 2004: 38). Instead of spending on ICTR more than one billion dollars, this amount of money could be invested into social programs inside Rwanda which would certainly have a lot more effect on people's live and on building long-term peace (Cobban: 2004). “Imagine what we could do in Rwanda with that kind of money,” one Rwandan executive said.

Many Rwandans refer to the fact that Kambanda and Bagosora in jail are in better accommodation: they enjoy air conditioning and wireless Internet, while many people are struggling to get food (Canter, 2009: 4). Moreover, the system of compensations for victims was not established, however, it is an important necessity (Haysom, 2004: 10).


Excerpt out of 5 pages


International criminal tribunal for Rwanda as international peace mediator
University of Basel  (Europainstitute)
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ISBN (eBook)
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564 KB
Rwanda, Peace mediation, ICTR
Quote paper
Karina Oborune (Author), 2009, International criminal tribunal for Rwanda as international peace mediator, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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