Theo Nkembe
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Theo Nkembe speaks on...

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Interview Date:
October 28, 2008
Kigali, Rwanda
Lisa P. Nathan
Nell Carden Grey
14:51 - 19:50


Lisa P. Nathan: So when you (_), unfortunately it looks like in the future, there will be more need for international courts of some form . . .
LPN: . . . and there will be people in your role. Might be you, might be others who have a very similar, who are in charge of evidence in an area where the crime was committed. Do you have any recommendations for that person either in terms of training or maybe in terms of, I don’t know, any thoughts that you might have to help someone do their job?
No, this is very difficult because you know when you are recruited in the UN system or anywhere else, the, the project you are doing today, you are carrying it on because you have ideas. You have personal, you know what you are looking for and maybe if they recruit somebody else that is sitting in, in your, in your place, the person might not do exactly what the way you are doing it.
So if I like, I can give an, an example. You are a minister somewhere, so Minister of Culture, Minister of Defense. Anyhow because you are there, you do things that you think that, so it’s very difficult to say, to tell another person that as a Minister of Defense or Education or Agriculture, “This is how maybe you should do.” Because what is, what I see is that the challenge is very big for the job.
The challenge is very big. We have to – the person has to accept what's, what is going on. Try to understand. Try to understand, not only doing your job, but go beyond your job. You have to read too much. You have to listen to people so that you understand well what you are doing. Otherwise you just be like a, a puppet, you, you know.
You do, you do this because I ask you to do that. By understanding what you are doing, you can be prod-, you can be productive, more productive, than only pretending to do what you are supposed to do. But as I, I just want to tell you that it’s very difficult to say if I'm, if I was not, if somebody else was, was in my place, it may be why you will not carry the job with the same, you know . . .
Because the person, those who have the same value as I have, as I truly have Christian values so which has, which makes me feel very as a unique person, you know. So somebody without any belief, you know, will just say “Okay, that is normal. You can kill everybody. You can (__) everybody. At the end of the month, you, you take a check and that’s it.” I don’t know if you, you, y- follow.
LPN: So, do you have anything else that you would, we’ve already gone beyond five minutes and I’m very aware of your time is precious but is there anything else that you would like to share with us, thinking about people watching this in the future, any other thoughts that . . . ?
Yeah, one, one thought is coming in my mind is the tribunal – I think overall there’s a lack of education in the region and in the world. Because people hear about the tribunal, in Africa, if we take Africa for example, but it’s still, I think that we are not doing enough to educate people, politicians, you know . . .
To tell them, “Now be careful, anything you do, tomorrow or after tomorrow you might be held responsible of this.” The culture of impunity is still like, you know, is like normal. I am in power. I can do anything I like and I will not be held response-, responsible.
So I think that what, what I will say at the end is that by seeing this – what your job, you’re, you are doing now is to make sure that this project or (_) other projects might help people to say, “Be careful. Be careful. Somebody is watching. Although you don’t see, somebody’s watching because you may pay what you are doing today tomorrow." I think this is what I can add.
LPN: Okay. Thank you so much.