Arusha, November 1, 2012 (FH) – Archives of the just ended semi-traditional courts, Gacaca, are being kept “in precarious conditions”, according to the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG).

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The Gacaca courts, whose judges were elected from the community, were tasked with trying most of the suspected perpetrators of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, which left some 800,000 people dead.

CNLG officials “insisted on precarious current conditions in which Gacaca archives are stored. Boxes are piled on ground, in very hot rooms without air conditioning and precautions to fight against pests,” reads part of a statement dated October 31, 2012.

CNLG officials were talking to members of Political and Governance Committee of the Senate who had visited the Gacaca archives that have been relocated at the police headquarters at Kacyiru, in Kigali, Central Rwanda.

The senators expressed “their worries” about damages of the documents being likely to cause, especially in case of fire or explosion due to chemicals and the pilling up state they were stored in, according to the CNLG statement.

The lawmakers “recommended hurrying up the process of getting air conditioning as a way of reducing heat and allowing staff to work in more bearable conditions.”

At the end of the visit, the senatorial committee “concluded that additional budget is the sole solution needed to cope with many difficult problems facing documentation in general and Gacaca archives in particular.”

Gacaca courts, which started their work in June 2002 managed to handle over one million trials before being officially closed on June 18, 2012.

At the closing ceremony, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said “Gacaca process served as the reaffirmation of Rwandans’ ability to find solutions to their problems and empower people to take decisions to what affects their lives.”