Kigali, 20 July 2007 (FH) - Work of General Interest known as TIG (French acronym for Travaux d'Intérêt Général) introduced recently in Rwanda as an alternative sentence to imprisonment for genocide has already recorded its first results, according to the heads of the project.

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In a report presented during a meeting with the partners of the gacaca process held in Kigali at the beginning of the month, they inventoried the various achievements of convicts throughout the country.

The works in progress, or envisioned, range from the construction of houses for survivors and other people without shelter to the fight against erosion and cutting stones for paving roads.

The report brings forth that 186 houses have already been built in four districts. The value of these houses is of approximately 450 million Rwandan francs.

70 other houses are under construction and 360 are planned, adds the report.

Convicts have also cut more than 4 million stones which have been used for road construction. The work carried out in this field has been evaluated at nearly 324 million Rwandan francs.

They have, moreover, fought against erosion on a 221 hectare surface. This accomplishment has been quantified at 221 million Rwandan francs.

The TIG constitutes an "installation of a form of repression reinforcing the unity and national reconciliation process while contributing to the economic development of the country".

20 779 people have already been sentenced to this kind of work by gacaca courts, according to the report; it also expects a more considerable increase in the next days. Only 732 convicts have finished their sentences.

"The great number of people convicted to TIG challenges stakeholders on all levels to answer with full ranging support for the projects of development having to accommodate this abundant labour force", indicates the report.

© Hirondelle News Agency