Alfred Kwende
speaks on ...
the challenges of investigating genocide


We hadn’t been confronted with such mass murder. There’d be a few murders or some hecatomb, but have to investigate the killings of 1,000,000 people within the space, or committed (___) 100 days, it defeats really the purpose.
When an investigator goes to a crime scene, he sees one murder or a few murders and he knows how to probably set the crime scene and so on. Here we were with the whole country of Rwanda as a crime scene with close to a million people lit-, at that stage even the figures of death to this day it’s even hard to know how many people really died. So as a major challenge, that’s wh-, that’s where we were.
The international community was expecting results, immediate results, because the killings were gruesome, numbers alarming. And so, when they create the tribunal, they want to see immediate results and yet here we were – not knowing where to start, not having to investigate all the crime but just to select those who bore the greatest responsibilities.
How do you get, how do you go about establishing those who bore the greatest responsibilities? It could be, it's not a matter of size; it’s not a matter of position. What do you use to establish those who bore the greatest responsibilities? That’s one.
Second issue, most of those who committed the crimes had escaped from the country. And so, it, it was even hard to start, to start, to know where to start. Thirdly, most of those who could have helped to give testimony were not there; they had been killed. If you read some of the books on Rwanda they say, the, the intention was to leave none to tell the story.
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About this video

Country of Origin:
Interview Date:
October 28, 2008
Kigali, Rwanda
Lisa P. Nathan
Nell Carden Grey
Excerpt From:
Part 2
Submitted By:
Voices from the Rwanda Tribunal team