Alex Obote Odora
speaks on ...
the decision not to locate the Tribunal in Rwanda in 1994


You see when people are getting out of extreme tensions like in Rwanda, one cannot simply assume that overnight people will begin to see themselves as being colleagues and members of the same community, of the same country. So putting the tribunal in Rwanda at that time would have I think exacerbated the tensions.
I don’t think the management of the court process would have been easy. I do not even know whether the anger of the general public could have been contained if soon after the genocide some of these key individuals were now being flown into Rwanda and being put in jail. I don’t know whether the government would have provided enough security to stop the general public from actually storming the place and lynching these people.
That’s a real possibility because when you get to know Rwanda very well you find that there are individuals who did not only lose the entire members of their family but a whole community, a whole village is destroyed and you cannot imagine the anger of these individuals, how they would react. I think they needed a cooling down period. ‘Kay?
Now after 14 years I believe trial can now be held in Rwanda now; pe-, they are fairly calm, they have, they have been able to address this, to reflect on this and also they have read what outsiders say about the conflict in Rwanda. There is now a basis upon which they can objectively try and look at those issues but to have put the tribunal there in 1994, my personal view is that would have been a great mistake.
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About this video

Country of Origin:
Interview Date:
October 22, 2008
Arusha, Tanzania
Lisa P. Nathan
John McKay
Nell Carden Grey
Excerpt From:
Part 3
Submitted By:
Voices from the Rwanda Tribunal team