Litigating History: The Prosecution of War Crimes

Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2014 1:52 pm

 

This April marks the beginning of the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, which lasted three months. 

Former United Nations war crimes prosecutor Don Webster will give a free public talk on “Litigating History/Prosecuting the Rwandan Genocide” at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 1, in Rosenfield Center Room 101.

Webster will provide a broad overview of the conflict in Rwanda, and then address the judicial response to it through the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

About the Rwandan Genocide

In approximately 100 days of violence, the genocide resulted in the death of as much as 20 percent of the country’s total population and 70 percent of the country’s Tutsi population. Rape was also systematically used as weapon against the Tutsi and moderate Hutu population.

The genocide was planned by members of the conservative Hutu political elite, known as the akazu, but perpetrators of the violence came from ranks of the Rwandan army, the National Police, government-backed militias, and the Hutu civilian population, who were encouraged or pressured by these government forces to rape, maim, and kill their Tutsi neighbors, and destroy or steal their property.

About Don Webster

In 1994, The United Nations Security Council established ICTR to judge people responsible for the genocide and other serious violations of international law in Rwanda that year. Still active today, the ICTR has finished 50 trials and convicted 29 accused persons, with another 11 trials in progress, and 14 individuals awaiting trial in detention.

Webster worked in the ITCR Office of the Prosecutor from 1999 to 2012. He served as the Senior Trial Attorney and lead prosecution council in the case of Prosecutor v. Karemera et al. Édouard Karemera, the vice president of the ruling Hutu-led MRND party at the time of the genocide, was found guilty of genocide in 2005 and sentenced to life in prison.

The event is sponsored by the Peace and Conflict Studies Program and co-sponsored by the Office of the President.