Charles Kamuru
Public Information Assistant
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Interview Date:
October 28, 2008
Kigali, Rwanda
Lisa P. Nathan
Nell Carden Grey
14:10 - 20:54


Lisa P. Nathan: I have a – do you also have a question and answer period at those?
LPN: And do you find the questions are similar to the ones the students ask and could you give some examples of the kind of questions that you (__) hear?
Okay, the kind of questions asked normally, you’ll find that at both levels they are the same; so we find that some questions come and come again every year. So you find that we are more acquainted with the kind of questions they are asking. Okay, examples, they will ask you, “Why was the tribunal set up? How many people have you tried?”
“What is the ICTR doing to ensure that all these people who committed crimes are being punished? What is going to happen to the people who are not yet arrested when the tribunal closes? Very soon you are going to close, what is going to happen to the cases in case you don’t complete the trials?” – but this one, we normally address it. We explain to them what is going to happen about the completion strategy and what it involves.
Basically you’ll find that those are the, the most common questions asked, but of course there are other questions but the principal ones, they evolve around that. So, those are the two elements I was talking about. Another element in the outreach program, we ha-, there is a permanent journalist from Radio Rwanda who is stationed at the ICTR Headquarters in Arusha.
So what he does in Arusha, he’s supposed to of course to report on a daily basis about what is taking place at the tribunal. But of course his, the coordination, his facilitation, supporting him, all that is coordinated by the External Relations and Strategic Planning S-, Section through the Outreach Program.
There is another element also which has been very instrumental in the tribunal’s activities in the country; that one concerns the capacity building program in Rwanda. So the Information Center, through its staff members, has been so instrumental in supporting the Rwanda’s judiciary, especially in training programs.
Like there is a program whereby we have been training the Rwandan legal personnel in online legal research methodology, which is very important. So you’ll find that the legal personnel in Rwanda, not all of them do understand how to access legal materials electronically.
So the Information Center through its staff members has been helping a lot in helping the legal personnel, training them on how to access various legal information materials and this we do it country-wide. Like now, we have been implementing that and it’s not only this year. We have done it even the previous years.
So I think that the whole of July, August, we have been moving in different locations especially at the provincial judicial headquarters, whereby various judicial professionals have benefited from our programs. Here you can mention like the prosecutors, judges, court registrars and other legal personnel.
So, we have been providing them with knowledge and skills on how to access the legal information materials via internet and we hope we have really achieved a lot, because at the end of the day, you’ll find that even the participants, they will be always telling us that, “Look, we would like to have you people come back and give us such skills because they are very important for our daily work.”
Apart from that, the, the Outreach Program has also been very instrumental in extending capacity building programs to even senior judicial personnel in the country. So various training programs have been organized; this year, the previous years where judges, senior judges from the S-, the Rwa-, Rwanda Supreme Court, prosecutors from the national prosecution services.
All these categories of legal professionals have re-, have received various training opportunities all coordinated by the ICTR Outreach Program. Besides that, the existence of the Information Center itself has been so instrumental as part of the Outreach Program. We have been receiving various visitors, be it local and international.
We have been receiving researchers from different parts of the world; from the United States, from Britain, from Canada, from Holland, from Belgium, and even from African countries like Cameroon, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and other countries.
So all these people when they come, they come to the Center to seek firsthand information about the tribunal and it lies in our duties and responsibilities, so we provide them with the necessary information they need. Basically, there are other activities within the Outreach Program but the main principal ones I think they are those ones which I’ve hinted on, yeah.