Public Information Assistant
Public Information Assistant
Charles Kamuru speaks on...
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October 28, 2008
Lisa P. Nathan
Nell Carden Grey
0:01 - 7:11
Lisa P. Nathan: Well, thank you so much for your time. My name is Lisa Nathan and I’m with the Information School at the University of Washington, and I would like to have you say your name, your home country, and then your role here, your job title.
Thank you very much. My name is Kamuru Charles. I work with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. I’m the Public Information Assistant, based at the tribunal’s Information Center in Kigali, commonly known as Umusanzu mu Bwiyunge. That is in Kinyarwanda language and in English it means Contribution to National Reconciliation.
LPN: And your home country?
My home country is Rwanda. Yeah, but initially I was born in East Africa. So after the 1994 genocide, like many other people who had gone to other countries, especially the neighboring states to Rwanda, I came back to this country to participate in the reconstruction and rehabilitation and give a contribution to the development of this nation.
LPN: Thank you. Can you walk me through your timeline with the ICTR, w-, what year did you first start working and what jobs have you had? Maybe you stayed with the same job; I don’t know.
Yeah, I did join the ICTR on 1st December 2004. So I have been with the ICTR now – I think it’s in December it will be four years, December this year. So when I joined the tribunal, I was recruited as an information assistant attached to the biggest section of External Relations and Strategic Planning Section, which is based at the ICTR headquarters in Arusha and that’s where our overall supervisor is based, the Chief of the External Relations and Strategic Planning Section.
So here in Kigali, as I said before, based at the ICTR Information and Documentation Center, which reports directly to the External Relations and Strategic Planning Section. And our center is mainly entrusted with the responsibility of implementing the ICTR Outreach Program in Rwanda; but besides that, I have well-defined duties and responsibilities which I’m supposed to carry out.
So when I was recruited, my title and my post, I’m supposed to, number one, I’m supposed to make a brief news summary about all the news that are circulated by the local and even foreign media about the activities of the tribunal. In other words, I’m supposed to make a weekly news summary of all news circulated by the local and foreign media, related to the ICTR.
So that summary, after making it, I’m supposed to submit it to the senior tribunal officials in Arusha so that they get the update of what is being talked about the tribunal. I’m supposed to also to ensure that there is a proper and efficient exchange of information between the tribunal and different media outlets in Rwanda.
In other words, here, I’m supposed to link with the different media groups and media houses in Rwanda so that I update them on the activities of the tribunal. It can be on a daily basis, it can be on a monthly basis, depending on their request, but also I’m supposed to ensure that every activity of the tribunal or any information of the tribunal, be it from Arusha or from Kigali, I’m supposed to pass over that information to the media.
But it’s not only the media but also to other tribunal stakeholders. So the tribunal has different partners in Rwanda. As I said before, the media is one of them, different civil groups, human rights organizations, legal institutions, and non-government organizations, be it local or international.
So those are some of our principal partners, so we have to keep them with an update of what is happening at the tribunal, the, the status of the work of the tribunal, about what is taking place. Yeah, basically it’s evolving around that.
The third aspect which is involved in my duties and responsibilities lies in ensuring the proper documentation of the existing ICTR archives, different statements, indictments, press releases; so all that information I’m supposed to safeguard and keep it for consultation and maybe future reference.