Rwanda's Inyangamugayo: Perspectives from Practitioners in the Gacaca Transitional Justice Mechanism



The Gacaca courts have been the subject of much academic work. Yet, few studies have examined the elected individuals who presided over Gacaca court trials, reflecting a broader paucity of research on local practitioners of transitional justice. Accordingly, this study asks two questions: (1) How did the Gacaca court judges, known as Inyangamugayo, perceive their duties to fight impunity and facilitate reconciliation? And (2) What challenges did the Inyangamugayo face as they sought to implement these duties? To address these questions, we interviewed 135 former Inyangamugayo. Our interviews shed light on the Inyangamugayo’s understandings of punishment and accountability, as well as on their perceptions of reconciliation at personal and societal levels. The interviews also illuminate the problems the Inyangamugayo faced while presiding over trials. Taken together, these findings contribute to scholarship on transitional justice pursuits by highlighting the perceptions and experiences of the individuals who implement transitional justice mechanisms.


Attribute NameValues
  • Jean-Damascène Gasanabo

  • Donatien Nikuze

  • Hollie Nyseth Brehm

  • Hannah Parks

Journal or Work Title
  • Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal

  • 14

  • 2

First Page
  • 153

Last Page
  • 172

Publication Date
  • 2020

Date Created
  • 2022-04-25

  • English

Departments and Units
Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

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