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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Congo Seeks Reconciliation Measures

On the last Saturday of each month, perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide can be seen in the fields and hills surrounding the southern city of Butare, working together to repair roads and build houses.

Participants in these projects are known as "tigistes", after the French acronym TIG for travaux d'interet general or community work, and they carry hoes, spades and picks to rebuild their country, which 15 years ago was ravaged by a genocide that killed nearly a million people.

Rwanda's neighbour, the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, is also seeking ways to deal with the aftermath of a war that has caused the deaths of over five million people there since 1998.

A truth and reconciliation commission, TRC, is one possibility but a previous attempt in 2004 was riddled with political and financial difficulties. As a result, the commission did not hold a single hearing and was abandoned altogether after the DRC's first democratic elections in 2006.

But there are recent calls for a new commission, even from the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, ICC, where Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga is currently standing trial for conscripting and using child soldiers in the Ituri region's bloody inter ethnic conflict.

link: Congo-Kinshasa: Congolese Push for Reconciliation (Page 1 of 1)


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