Kigali, 17 July 2008 (FH) - About 90,000 persons convicted for their responsibility in the 1994 genocide are currently engaged in community service throughout Rwanda, reported Thursday the Rwandan weekly newspaper Grands Lacs Hebdo (Great Lakes Weekly).

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To relieve congestion in its prisons, Rwanda adopted a law which envisages that certain categories of authors of the 1994 genocide serve half of their prison sentence and the remainder be commuted to community service. During the serving of community service, convicts live, at the expense of the government, in camps generally located at edge of cities.

The newspaper which quoted the national service of community service, mentions in particular the Gahanga Camp, at the entry of Kigali, "which shelters more than 250 men and women having finished the first half of their prison sentence".

The work varies, according to specificities and the needs in the region: constructions of schools or houses for poor survivors of the genocide, construction of bridges, planting plants and trees to prevent erosion in high-altitude areas, cutting stones, etc.

Each "tigiste" is in addition held, during his stay, to learn a trade which will enable them to earn their living after having served their sentence. Iliterate convicts also learn how to read and write.


© Hirondelle News Agency