With most of the people viewing the cases not part of the actual genocide, whose justice was it really? I wondered about my host family, and the kids I had met at refugee camps in Uganda. Does locking perpetrators up behind bars in these faraway cases actually mean anything to them? Does it give them closure or any sort of benefit? Maybe in the long term – with the conflicts in Eastern and Central Africa becoming increasingly interconnected, arresting the ringleaders of one genocide might very well help to prevent the next. Arresting Joseph Kony in Uganda will ultimately benefit people in Congo and Sudan as well. But what about the short term? What about an apology or assistance for the boy I met in an orphanage whose parents were killed in front of his eyes at the age of 4? He has lived his life as an orphan since then. What about the young woman who was raped, infected with HIV, and is now an outcast from society because the rape was perceived as her fault? They are the ones whose lives were destroyed, not the international community. The kids in orphanages and refugee camps will most likely never physically see the men who organized so many crimes against them. Will they be able to come to terms with being orphans simply because the men who organized the massacre killing their parents are in jail? What justice is served for every child who lost a parent, every family who lost years of life and education in a refugee camp, and every generation of lost children? Or can any system ever create adequate individual justice for what was lost? The Gacaca courts were an important step, but people still slip through the cracks. My host sister was scoffed at when she tried to present her case of being raped because a.)it was her word against a man’s, and b.) she was fourteen years old at the time and was accused of making the story up.
Once formed, enemy images tend to resist change, and serve to perpetuate and intensify the conflict. Because the adversary has come to be viewed as a "diabolical enemy," the conflict is framed as a war between good and evil. Once the parties have framed the conflict in this way, their positions become more rigid. In some cases, zero-sum thinking develops as parties come to believe that they must either secure their own victory, or face defeat. New goals to punish or destroy the opponent arise, and in some cases more militant leadership comes into power.