II. Transitional Justice Options Seriously Considered and Actually Implemented for Alleged Rwandan Genocidaires

Unlike with the WWII and Balkan atrocities discussed in the previous three chapters, neither the USG nor other members of the international community implemented any significant transitional justice options aside from prosecution in the immediate aftermath of the genocide. Based on the history detailed in Part I above, this Part discusses what transitional justice options the UN and the USG seriously considered and actually implemented for addressing the principal individuals suspected of perpetrating atrocities in Rwanda.


Just as with the atrocities in the FRY, the Rwandan genocide occurred after most members of the international community signed the Genocide Convention. Consequently, states involved with Rwandan transitional justice were predisposed to two particular options: prosecution domestically in the state where atrocities were perpetrated (here, Rwanda) or internationally through an ICT.

And just as with the atrocities in the FRY, almost immediately after atrocities in Rwanda came to light, the international community (operating through the UN) declared that it would seek to prosecute the perpetrators. This rhetoric again generally ruled out inaction and other non-prosecutorial mechanisms as serious options. The question that the international community thus confronted once more was what type of prosecution to implement.

Unlike the case of the FRY, by the time of the Rwandan genocide, an ICT (the ICTY) existed. The international community thus seriously considered three main options: ICTY-Expanded, ICT-Tied, and ICT-Separate. These options represented a narrower array of choices than the international community seriously considered in the case of the FRY. As discussed above, the UNSC ultimately implemented ICT-Tied.

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