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 Arusha, 24 May 2007 (FH) - Some 44 204 Rwandans accused of participating in the 1994 genocide live abroad while have 87 063 died, indicates a report of the National Service of the Gacaca Courts (SNJG); available on the department’s website and consulted on Thursday by the Hirondelle agency.
The report does not, however, specify the countries of residence of the accused.
The gacaca courts, a mixture of conventional justice and Rwandan traditional justice, are charged to carry out investigations in connection with the 1994 genocide and to judge the majority of the supposed persons involved in the genocide.
According to the investigations carried out by these courts, 818 564 people, approximately a tenth of the Rwandan population, are accused to have played a part in the 1994 genocide.
Since July 2006, the gacaca trials, initially opened on a pilot level, were applied to the whole of the country. With the experience of the last 10 months, the SNJG hopes to finish the gacaca trials by 31 December 2008. The department, however, deplores some difficulties; in particular, those related to "attacks on the on rescapés, witnesses and judges".
The system is criticized by organizations for the defense of human right because, among other things, of the lack of training of the gacaca judges. These courts are presided not by professional magistrates but by people designated within the community, the only criterion required is integrity.
The reply to these criticisms by the Rwandan government is that these courts act as a "Rwandan therapy to a Rwandan evil". The government also puts detractors at the challenge to propose a better solution to them.
 © Hirondelle News Agency