What is the current situation in Rwanda?

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lprono eNotes educator| Certified Educator

According to the Human Rights Watch World Report 2012 (see links below), Rwanda is continuing to make progress in the sectors of health, public service and the economy. Yet, in spite of these positive developments, the shadow of the genocide still looms on the country. Although the government promised to amend its genocide laws, opposition parties argue that these are used to quench political dissent and freedom of speech. For example, opposition leader Victoire Ingabire is still facing trial on charges that she breached genocide laws, charges that she had to face during the run-up to the 2010 presidential election to which she intended to take part but was prohibited to. 

The use of genocide also prominently features in the other controversial topic that is animating political debates within Rwanda society: the legacy of community-based gacaca courts in the discussions of genocide-related cases. Although these community-based courts witnessed vast popular participation and allowed for the swift acquisition of new information on the facts of the 1994 genocide, the Human Rights Watch Report points out their mixed legacy because of their

violations of the right to a fair trial, intimidation of witnesses, corruption of judges and other parties, and political interference.

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