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The right of victims of international crimes to reparations in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda

PhD ceremony:Mr Y. (Yves) Sezirahiga
When:June 24, 2021
Start:11:00
Supervisors:prof. dr. C.I. Fournet, prof. dr. A.L. (Alette) Smeulers
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Law
The right of victims of international crimes to reparations in the
aftermath of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda

The purpose of this thesis is to analyse how the government of Rwanda has addressed the harm caused to the victims of the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994 in Rwanda. It seeks to answer the research question: ‘to what extent has the right to reparations of the victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi been materialised?’

In answering this question, this research offers a comprehensive analysis of various Rwandan legal and non-legal responses to the harm suffered by the victims of the genocide against the Tutsi and examines them in the light of international standards on victims’ reparations. The TARR Model provided an important analytical framework, whereas the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation constituted a significant yardstick for this research.

While acknowledging the unprecedented right of the victims of the most serious international crimes to reparations, this research also exposes the practical challenges and shortcomings faced by the application of the internationalised human rights standards of victims’ right to reparations in cases of mass violations of human rights.

Yet, it also recognizes that the measures put in place by the government of Rwanda to address the consequences of the genocide against the Tutsi do fit within the scope of the measures of restitution, rehabilitation and satisfaction, as provided in international law, and emphasizes their adaptation to local realities and experiences.