Rwandan genocide courts end mission

June 18, 2012 at 11:37 AM
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KIGALI, Rwanda, June 18 (UPI) -- Survivors of the Rwandan genocide in 1994 say they are concerned about their safety after community courts ended their work after 10 years.

Community courts in Rwanda, known as gacaca, were established to help in the prosecution of the high number of suspects accused of playing a role in the 1994 atrocities.

More than 60 percent of the millions of suspects tied to the genocide were found guilty in the thousands of courts set up in Rwanda. At least 10,000 suspects died in prison before their cases were brought to trail, the BBC reports.

Albert Gasake, a coordinator with the Survivors' Fund Organization, told the BBC there was a culture of fear in Rwanda now that the community courts have disbanded.

"Survivors are worried about their security because they are living side by side with those who had wanted to previously exterminate them," he said.

The U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, working from neighboring Tanzania, has acquitted eight and convicted 38 people tied to the genocide. The ICTR is set to end its mandate at the end of this year.

Conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic communities left roughly 800,000 people dead in a 100-day massacre in 1994.

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