The Gacaca Courts processed almost two million cases over ten years. Each trial was painstakingly recorded by the judges who heard the case. These records, along with other case documents and audio visual files, were collected at the conclusion of Gacaca in 2012. Today the estimated 60 million pages of documents and 8,000 audio visual content is managed by the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG). The Commission and its partners are now undertaking the task of properly preserving these materials and creating a world-class archive so that they can be used for research and learning about the genocide.
The Gacaca judicial system created an archive that consists of three parts:
An estimate of 18,000 boxes (30w x 42l x 25h) cm, with paper based documents. The documents in this part of the archives are mainly handwritten. The boxes keep blue binders (33h x 21w), grey binders (20w x 31h), cahiers (21wx30h), notebooks (13-17w x 20-21h) and folders (24w x 35h) containing loose papers (mainly A4). One full box can contain around 2,000 pages and between 35 and 40 binders/cahiers/notebooks.
This archive is of unparalleled significance, both to Rwanda and the world, as a record of the process of justice and reconciliation. However, a feasibility study carried out by Aegis Trust and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies into genocide-related materials in Rwanda’s archives has shown that the Gacaca Archive is deteriorating rapidly and that that there is a significant risk of information getting lost and/or documents becoming unusable in the future.