Over the span of 100 days in 1994, almost one million Rwandans died in a genocide that left Rwandan society traumatized and its institutions in disarray. The genocide implicated not only the actual instigators and killers, who came from all levels of Rwandan society, but also the culture of impunity that had thrived in Rwanda for decades. This culture of impunity and inaction in the face of atrocities eerily mirrored the international community's failure to intervene to prevent or respond to the genocide. The genocide provoked a process of reflection within Rwanda and the broader international community about how the genocide came to pass and how Rwanda can rebuild so that such an event will never happen again. This chapter attempts one element of this reflection by considering how the legal mechanisms established in the aftermath of the genocide might help transform the Rwandan culture of impunity into a culture of accountability.
Accountability in the Aftermath of Rwanda's Genocide, in Accountability for Atrocities: National and International Responses (Jane Stromseth, ed., 2003)