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ghosts of rwanda


Pre-Viewing Lesson Plan
  • Learning about Rwanda
  • Student Worksheet #1
  • Student Worksheet #2
  • Lesson Extension: Genocide in World War II and its Aftermath
  • Student Worksheet #3

  • Viewing Lesson Plan
  • Student Viewing Guide
  • Student Worksheet #4

  • Post-Viewing Lesson Plan
  • The Big Picture
  • Lesson Extension: The Aftermath of Genocide
  • Lesson Extension: Reconciliation and Reparations in Rwanda

  • Further Resources

    Printable .pdf of Entire Guide
    (Adobe Acrobat required)

    » Lesson Extension:

    Reconciliation and Reparations
     in Rwanda

    » Lesson Objectives:

    Students will have the opportunity to learn about the both International Military Court of Justice and the gacaca (pronounced ga-CHA-cha), the grass-roots level courts for those who participated in the genocide but were not leaders.

    » Materials Needed:

    • Computer with Internet access

    » Time Needed:

    45 minutes to prepare (can be done for homework); plus 45 minutes for discussion and for the gacaca trial and verdict.

    » Procedure:

    Part I: The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda:
    International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

    • Click on English
    • Click on About the Tribunal
    • Click on Fact Sheets
    • Click on "The Tribunal at a glance" and read the two paragraphs under "Role and Jurisdiction." Summarize what you've read in a sentence or two.


    • Click on Cases
    • Click on Cases in Progress
    • Click on Bagosora,
    • Click on Indictment (Note: This is a PDF file and may take a moment to load.) Scroll down through the history and background of the Rwandan genocide until you get to the specific allegations in #5. Be prepared to summarize the accusations against Colonel Bagosora.

    Part II: Gacaca Background. The gacaca courts in Rwanda deal with those who participated in the genocide but were not leaders.

    1) For a brief introduction to the role and scope of gacaca, go to:
    FRONTLINE/WORLD Fellows. Rwanda - After the Genocide.

    2) For a specific example of how a gacaca works, read through the brief descriptions of the main participants in one gacaca trial:

    Part III: Creating a Gacaca in the Classroom: A Role-Play Exercise

    1) After students have completed reading the words of a victim, a perpetrator and a court monitor, break up students into three groups. Each group will represent one of the three view points.

    2) Students should have time to brainstorm in their groups, choosing one or more student(s) to read the words of the person for whom they are speaking.

    3) After a five to 10 minute brainstorm, the teacher (judge) should convene the gacaca.

    4) The court monitor should speak first, briefly telling why he thinks the gacaca is necessary for the future of Rwanda.

    5) The victim should speak next.

    6) The perpetrator should speak next.

    7) With the facilitation of the teacher/judge, students, maintaining the roles they were assigned, should discuss the issues, problems, and effectiveness of the gacaca.

    If appropriate, students can write a one-page evaluation of their view of the effectiveness of gacacas in Rwanda. Students may want to read FRONTLINE's interview with journalist and author Helena Cobban, in which she gives her assessment of the prospects for peace and reconciliation in Rwanda.

    » Assessment:

    Participation in Gacaca
    Student essay on the effectiveness of gacacas in Rwanda

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