Ayodeji Fadugba
Chief of Information and Evidence
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Interview Date:
October 23, 2008
Arusha, Tanzania
Lisa P. Nathan
John McKay
Max Andrews
45:42 - 51:12


John McKay: Tell me how you, how you felt on the biggest win, the, when you felt the best about a ruling from the court.
That as well I don’t think that I – I’m happy that our work has been done but it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a very strange feeling actually because if I hear about a conviction and I’m very happy for the office that we got a conviction, it doesn’t take a long time for my mind to switch to the family of the person who is convicted. Because you can see the other side; the, the, the person sitting there is not alone.
They’re a father, you know, an uncle, you know, or a child. So I tend, you tend to be happy. There’s this euphoric atmosphere that you enjoy with everybody, “Oh we did it, we got it, you (__).” But I think also in a short time you start to think of the person and how they’re feeling and how their families are feeling. Not so much for them, but just for them being human beings like us.
You see for their families also being human beings. So I think, so I think for me it’s, it’s, it’s that mix – you, you are euphoric for a while, then the human element comes in and you ask yourself, “How does this help Rwanda?” Have you created bigger hardliners, you know, in their families or have you actually helped the process of reconciliation?
JM: When I was going to ask you to put, put your, your, your wonderfully human person, put, put yourself as I know you have from time to time or I guess that you have in the, in the shoes of survivors, Rwandan surv-, survivors, and how they might view what’s happening in ICTR. Do you think that they have the same feelings of happiness when there is a conviction at ICTR? Do they care; is, is it important in their lives? Do you hope it might be important in their lives?
I would hope it would be important in their lives. But I also, I would realize that for them everything is – some of them have tried to move on with their lives. And sometimes also you have this feeling that a lot of them might think it’s too little too late. A lot of them also might think that the sentences here are so lenient, you know, like you have 25 years, you have 30 years, you have.
For somebody who has lost every member of their family that looks like no justice, you know. It looks like, “Oh this guy might actually come out alive,” you know. And when you see the possibilities for the person to keep filing, you know, for review – I, I, I can see from the victim’s point of view that they may not think that it helps, it helps them greatly. I mean I don’t think they’d be celebrating except if the accused is the one directly connected to the events, you know, that happened to their families, maybe.
But on a general level they also want to move on with their lives and, and, and I think that it would be too much to expect to say that they’d be dancing or to be celebrating, jubilating. For them it’s been how many years and you’re just putting away somebody for the crime. It’s, I, I don’t know, if I was the victim I don’t know that I will necessarily be, be, be feasting that conviction.
Max Andrews: Three minutes, (____).
JM: Okay. I wanted to ask you, and we don’t have a lot of time so I apologize but, but you must have, as a woman here working at ICTR, seen evidence of rape as part of the genocide. Has that been difficult for you and for other women working here?
Oh yes it’s been difficult. It’s been difficult and I, you know, there’s one of our attorneys who has actually done a lot of (_) interviews on rape and sexual assault. And I think when she, she speaks very passionately about, you know, investigating. One of the things you, you see, especially when you see a witness testifying to rape, you almost feel like you’re violating her all over again.
Because they have to re-live the events and some of them have moved beyond it. They’ve tried to erase it from their memories for 14 years and then you’re asking them to relive it. So there’s that – I mean, this friend of mine tells me that, you know there is also that, that sometimes, make you, it makes you not want to be too i-, invasive in your questioning.
Meanwhile you want the evidence to be out there, but you can see that it’s almost you’re, like you’re torturing the witness. And so, and even the terms of investigations the victims sometimes they’ve moved on with their lives. They don’t want to visit it. Some of them have not told their new husbands or spouses that they were violated in the genocide.
Is this the way they want it to come out? You see. So sometimes even we are helpless. We know it’s there, but you have to be able to bring it to court because that’s where the theatre is and if you can’t, too bad. So that’s painful. That’s very, very painful.
We’ve had seminars, we’ve tried it as an office to have a policy, we’ve tried to even, you know, make sure that we have trainings on how do you get this evidence out. How do you – but there is really no decent way to do it. You’re asking the person to, to tell you about something they would rather believe happened to someone else, not them. So.
JM: Thank you Ayo, thank you very much.