Kigali, 19 January 2009 (FH) - The Gacaca courts (semi-traditional courts) are scheduled to end in June this year at all levels, according to official source in Kigali.

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Inspired by Rwandan tradition, the gacaca courts (pronounced gatchatchas) are charged with trying people in Rwanda suspected to have taken part in the 1994 killing spree against Tutsis.
All trials before the gacaca, in appeal and revision, would be concluded by the end of June 2009, according to the schedule of the National Service of Gacaca Courts (SNJG).
To respect this schedule, the department will conduct a new mobilization campaign of the population.
In many places, the participation in the gacaca dropped whereas it was essential for the collection of evidence for the prosecution and the defence.
The end will come, in each administrative sector progressively as it draws to the final stages and at the national level that is expected in December, with the presentation of general official report.
The SNJG also plans to set up an Information centre on the gacaca and to undertake evaluation study of the system, this year.
In addition, the "people with integrity" who set on these courts would be given a financial support by Rwandan government and other donors so that they might establish cooperatives to assist them as a form of reward for the good job done during those trials.
During 2008, the gacaca courts tried 68,408 cases which were pending by 31 December 2007. The year was also marked by an amendment of the law which widened the jurisdiction of the gacaca to rape cases.
According to SNJG by November 30 2008, nearly 5,000 cases remained un attended and it is expected that will be tried until June, 2009.

© Hirondelle News Agency