Frontline World

RWANDA - After the Genocide, December 2003
7/3/03 7/7/03 7/11/03 7/15/03 7/19/03 7/19/03 7/20/03 7/23/03
pacifique mukeshima Domina Nyirandayambaje Aloys Habimana
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reporter doug merlino
Doug Merlino was selected as a FRONTLINE/World Fellow in summer 2003. He will finish dual master's degrees in journalism and international studies at the University of California at Berkeley in spring 2004.

In just three months in 1994, an estimated 800,000 Rwandans, out of a population of 7 million, were slaughtered in a state-led genocide. This was a massive, organized attempt to eliminate the Tutsi ethnic group from the country. An international tribunal to try the organizers who planned and incited the killing has been set up in Tanzania. But that tribunal will handle the cases of only a few leaders.

world map
Rwanda's Neighborhood
United Nations Involvement
Root of Hutu/Tutsi Tension
Rwandan Civil War, 1990-1994
Rwanda's 1994 Genocide
Rwandan Patriotic Front
Paul Kagame

Read a discussion with FRONTLINE/World fellow Doug Merlino about "After the Genocide"
Tens of thousands of other Rwandans are still imprisoned on charges of participating in the genocide. The Rwandan government recently began setting up local courts -- called gacaca -- to deal with these lower-level cases. These gacaca courts represent a countrywide effort to dig for the truth, press for confessions and fashion some form of reconciliation.

I traveled to Rwanda in July 2003 hoping to observe the courts in session and see this social experiment up close. From the moment I arrived in the country, I discovered -- as my email dispatches over 20 days reflect -- that Rwanda's gacaca experience is far more complicated, interesting and fragile than you might expect.

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Email Dispatches:
Read Doug Merlino's on-the-scene email dispatches from Rwanda.
In Their Own Words:
Witness the Rwanda tragedy through the personal stories of a perpetrator, a victim, and a human rights activist.

FRONTLINE/World Fellows
Part of the Web-exclusive FRONTLINE/World Fellowship program. FRONTLINE/World is exploring partnerships with some of the leading graduate schools of journalism around the United States with the goal of identifying and developing the best of an emerging generation of journalists. The FRONTLINE/World Fellowship program is supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Read more about the program.