Innocent Kamanzi
Information Officer
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Innocent Kamanzi speaks on...

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Interview Date:
October 16, 2008
Kigali, Rwanda
Batya Friedman
Patricia Boiko
3:50 - 7:33


Batya Friedman: When did you begin to think that maybe you would work with the Tribunal?
C-, can you repeat the question?
BF: Yeah. When did you decide that maybe, that you would come to work at the Tribunal?
Comme journaliste, je travaillais à un certain moment à Radio Rwanda, à partir donc après le, juillet 1994 et après comme je travaillais au Rwanda, j’ai fait un projet qui a fait que je sois le premier journaliste – même Rwandais qui soit au TIPR au Rwanda pour couvrir les procès qui sont commencé à se dérouler là-bas. C’était en 1997-98. Alors à ce moment, c’est à partir de ce moment peut-être que j’ai eu des connaissances et j’ai eu un poste, j’ai, j’ai postulé comme tout le monde et, et on m’a recruté.
BF: Okay, And for me, a little bit in English?
Yeah, in ‘94, July especially, after July ‘94, I was journalist at the Radio Rwanda.
BF: So you came back to Rwanda right away?
Yes, I came back to Rwanda and I was journalist. And in ’96, ‘97, I did a project to go to cover some events for the trials in Arusha. And I, I was there for like one year just to set up a desk of (_______), that is the National Office of Information in Rwanda and I set up that bureau and I was following the trials, reporting everyday what’s going on, the activities of ICTR at that period. It was in ‘97, ‘98.
And from that time, in, I come back and I think it’s in ‘99, there were announcement in the, that ICTR, they need an Information Officer who’s speaking Kinyarwanda, who could tr-, work here in Rwanda and I, I, I was a candidate and I have been selected.
BF: Excellent. And when you were in Burundi, were you also working as a journalist there?
Yes, also . . .
BF: Okay.
. . . I was working in a, in a daily newspaper, but also some, some, some, sometime also in the radio.
BF: What, what was it back in July of ’94 that, that made you come back so quickly after the genocide? What did you think?
Yeah, I think it was, it-, it was, it was for me, you know, you know, you know, I, I, I grow in exile. And the situation, which was in the country, it was not allowing me to, to come into the country here. So you can imagine how for me, my dream was even to work for my country, at least.
And you know is, is, is the, is the (_________) to be a refugee or to, to be in exile and not to have a country. Probably some people cannot understand; that is a terrible thing I think, people cannot really understand the, the, the weight of, of, of that. Growing in exile, never know your country. So there is some rights, some fundamental rights – even simple things, you know, you, you, you miss and you would like to have.