Justice is still a priority: 27 years since the genocide in Rwanda

7 Apr, 2021 | Press Releases

Brussels-Rome, 7 April 2021

Twenty-seven years have passed since numerous unimaginable atrocities were committed in Rwanda against Tutsi and moderate Hutus. Hundreds of thousands were slaughtered, and other hundreds of thousands raped in this genocide, while the international community, and particularly the United Nations, failed to stop it. The years that have passed since then do not make it easier for anyone to understand what was happening back in 1994, and still we cannot say that justice has been achieved. This is why, twenty-seven years later, we still stress on the importance of justice for peace, which was what our 1994 campaign “There is No Peace Without Justice” pointed at, in response to the atrocities taking place in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

Now an organisation, No Peace Without Justice continues to work for justice, understanding that it is a precondition for human rights, the rule of law, democracy and peace. This is as true today as it was in 1994 when the campaign was launched. Striving for justice, NPWJ campaigned for the established of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and a permanent International Criminal Court (ICC), all of which contributed to the modern international criminal justice system. These new avenues brought some relief to survivors in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, through the recognition of their rights to redress, truth and remembrance. However, the road to justice is still long and the mechanisms to achieve it still face challenges.

Today, we honour and commemorate the victims of genocide in Rwanda by putting justice at the forefront of our work. It is through justice that reparations and truth can be achieved, and it is also through justice that the atrocities suffered in Rwanda can be prevented for future generations. Perhaps one of the best ways to honour the victims of the horrific events that took place in Rwanda in 1994 is to continue fighting for justice and strengthening the institutions whose mandate is to provide accountability and ensure the respect of the rule of law and human rights.

For further information, contact Alison Smith, Director Of International Justice, on asmith@npwj.org or Nicola Giovannini, Press & Public Affairs Coordinator, on ngiovannini@npwj.org.