Friday, February 03, 2006

May I be excused? My head is full.

Information overload is always a possibility when combining lots of reading and conversation on weighty themes, trying to absorb multiple perspectives while evolving one's own ideas and convictions, weighing the tensions between principles, theory and practice in a complex reality.

I'm afraid I'm not in a position to give detailed reports of our key meetings so far: they have been fascinating, thought provoking and inspiring, but my secretarial skills are limited, and I need to reflect on what I've heard. Also, since we've touched on some sensitive issues, I want to be sure what is on- and off-the-record, and attributable.

However, what I can do is jot down a few Rwanda-centric questions which have arisen in various ways, and which might serve as food for thought for anyone out there who wishes to extend the conversation. (Please Google any terms you may be unfamiliar with.) As Groucho Marx said of his principles, if you don't like them I have others...
  • Are there paradoxes in the requirements for justice (challenging impunity) and reconciliation in communities where perpetrators, bystanders and survivors live side by side? How can these be resolved?
  • What are the different expectations and hopes for the gacaca system and ICTR? How do you evaluate their successes and failures?
  • Whatever lessons are drawn from Rwanda's ongoing courageous social reconstruction project, how is it possible to apply them preventively in a non-permissive, highly politicised environment?

3 comments:

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for the updates so far - fascinating! Lucky you lot, by the lake, thinking, thinking...

marian said...

Fred it is really great to read your posts. Really makes us feel connected. Thanks. Marian (NYC, USA)

Algy said...

What a shock, your words. My country, Chile, has been undergoing a stressfull, but successful reconciliation process. But what you describe in Rwanda's reconciliation leaves just a small place for hope: side by side offenders and offended can really come to terms, but never in a "non permisive, highly politicized environment". At least you label the process as "corageous". It must be!