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Rwandans discuss peace in The Hague - 26 April 2008

12 jaar geleden|34 views
Hundreds of Rwandans met on Saturday 26 April in the Dutch Capital the Hague to talk of Peace in their country. I should rather say to talk of peaces as the notion of peace is viewed differently by the Hutu and Tutsi communities.

On the one hand, Hutus from all over Europe and a number of Europeans, were patiently and silently queuing in front of the ICJ, where a heavy police presence could be seen.

On the other hand were Tutsi protestors, who were having banners announcing that the Peace Palace, the seat of the UN Court of Justice was not appropriate for the Peace Conference. Unfortunately, protestors refused to answer my questions, preferring to direct me to their leader who had their official message.

Paul Rusesabagina, the man who inspired the Hollywood movie Hotel Rwanda was the key speaker of the day

The public was given a chance to ask questions, even though many of them remained unanswered.

Among other key speakers was Rober Krueger, former Senator who served as US Ambassador to Burundi from 1994 to 1995. Kruger said that bringing president Kagame and other criminals to court would lead nowhere. What I want from him is confession, he said.

Belgian Christian de Beule, founder of SOS Rwanda-Burundi and Dutch Labour Party MP Chantal Gillard also spoke, both emphasizing the need for peace, justice and reconciliation in the Great Lakes Region.

The reality at this moment is that some Rwandans think they have made a giant step towards justice inside the symbolic premises of the International Court of Justice, while others, looking from a distance, think it was a profanation of that temple of international justice.

The April 26 conference proves once again that Rwanda, as professor Mahmood Mamdani said, is sitting on a simmering volcano that can blow up again at any time.