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RWANDA/GENOCIDE - 177 SURVIVORS AND WITNESSES OF THE GENOCIDE MURDERED SINCE 2000, IBUKA REPORTSArusha, January 31 2007 (FH) – At least 177 survivors or witnesses of the genocide have been murdered since 2000, according to Ibuka, the leading organization of survivors of these massacres perpetrated from April to July 1994. « 177 murders have been reported between 2000 and 2006; the victims were survivors of the genocide mostly, as well as a few potential witnesses », Ibuka’s executive secretary, Benoît Kaboyi, told Hirondelle. Kaboyi said that, over the same period of time, more than one hundred murder attempts against genocide survivors had aborted throughout the country. Last Thursday, a league of human rights organizations in the Great Lakes Region (LDGL), has held a day-long meeting to discuss these murders and threats potential witnesses and judges of traditional Gacaca courts are being the victims of. Governmental bodies, such as the Ministry of Internal Security, the National Police, the National Service of Gacaca Jurisdictions as well as some representatives of the diplomatic body and the civil society were attending the meeting, according to the LDGL.

The representative of the National Police has disclosed that certain survivors and witnesses who have fled the threats to their personal security, have found refuge in military camps and precincts, the League adds.

As a consequence, the organization continues, witnesses prefer to keep silent, fewer and fewer people accept to participate in the works of the gacaca jurisdictions and certain judges give their resignation.

Gacaca courts, a reenactment of the traditional Rwandan justice, are led by « persons of integrity » (inyangamugayo, in kinyarwanda) appointed by their community.

These non-professional judges do not get paid for their work.

During this meeting, Kaboyi has criticized the latest report of the New York based organization Human Rights Watch which made mention of retaliation murders following the assassination of genocide survivors in the Eastern province of Rwanda at the end of 2006. ER/AT/MG © Hirondelle News Agency