Public Information Assistant
Public Information Assistant
Charles Kamuru speaks on...
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October 28, 2008
Lisa P. Nathan
Nell Carden Grey
7:12 - 14:09
Another aspect also which lies in my duties and responsibility, responsibilities involves the implementation of the ICTR Outreach Program in Rwanda. So I’m part of the team which is supposed to ensure the success of the ICTR Outreach Program. So when that program was being introduced in Rwanda, of course the tribunal thought of a mechanism of how it could be successful.
And in fact, that’s why even the ICTR Information and Documentation Center was established. It was established way back in September 2000. So after the tribunal had realized that there was need for each information to be extended deep to the grassroot level so that the Rwandan public can understand what the tribunal was doing; so they found it was very necessary to set up the Information and Documentation Center.
I hope you have visited it. We took you around and you saw what is being done there. So the tribunal in fact I can call it – sorry, the Informational Center, I can call it the eye of the tribunal in Rwanda. So the External Relations and Strategic Planning Section is the one which supervises the activities of the information center.
In other words, it i-, it’s the one which coordinates all activities related to the outreach program in Rwanda and then the Information Center is entrusted with the responsibility of implementing the Outreach Program in Rwanda. So the, the Outreach Program, it, it, it’s a, it's a big project. It’s a huge project which is financed by the European Union but which also welcomes support from other donors and institutions and it involves a lot of elements within it.
There is the information dissemination campaign and that one is one of the principal elements which involves bridging the information gap between the ICTR and the Rwandan population. I think when we were taking you around the center, if you can remember very well, we talked about the ICTR awareness raising campaign, so that one also has largely been so important.
We are, we have been traveling up country, whereby we stage workshops in different institutions, secondary schools, higher institutions of learning. So this one we have been doing it in order to target the youth, the younger generation, because they have a big role to play in the unity and reconciliation process of the country. So we thought it was very necessary for them to understand what the tribunal is doing. So it is the outreach program which spearheads all that.
So we have been doing it for a long time, since the year 2005, if not 2004, whereby we go to different secondary schools, we screen documentaries about the ICTR; we screen documentaries about other judicial proceedings in the country, about Gacaca. And after that exercise, we always give time to the audience, so whereby a question and answer session takes place and we give the students time to ask questions.
And various questions are normally asked about the activities of the tribunal, a good number of questions and our duty is to answer them and that’s what we always do. And at the end of the day, when we leave such places, we are sure that a big number of the students have understood what the tribunal is all about, why in the first place it was set up, how the trials have been going on and its contribution to the unity and reconciliation process in Rwanda.
In other words, you find that most of the students at the end of the day, they understand the role of international justice in the unity and reconci-, reconciliation process of Rwanda. So that’s one of the elements. There is also the a-, the awareness raising workshops again, but this time targeting a bigger part of the population, the public, the l-, the residents.
In this case normally we, we identify a given venue whereby we set up very big tents. The activities are almost the same but this time, the difference lies in that we are targeting a bigger public. So we screen documentaries also, we provide various publications about the ICTR, books, pamphlets. We issue, like, video tapes containing ICTR information, CD-ROMs, various publications.