The Hirondelle News Agency covered all the trials of the ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) in Arusha, Tanzania, from 1997 to 2012. From its creation in 1997 to its closure in December 2012, Hirondelle News Agency produced more than 16,000 news articles that constitute an archive of this justice and reconciliation work. The dispatches and archives remain accessible on the website of the Agency www.hirondellenews.com. The work of Fondation Hirondelle on the coverage of transitional justice has continued since then with JusticeInfo.net.
The Hirondelle News Agency was created in 1997 to report on the judicial follow-up to the 1994 Rwandan genocide. It covered all the trials of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). It allowed the population of the African Great Lakes region to follow the cases as they were proceeding, especially as its news articles were republished by local media. Based in Arusha, Tanzania, within the ICTR building, it was the only permanent news agency that followed court trials every day in the Tribunal's courtrooms. It covered the ICTR’s work in 4 languages: English, French, Swahili, and Kinyarwanda (the Rwandan language).
The Agency’s team of journalists also covered trials in progress in Rwanda, with a correspondent in Kigali. Our journalists followed the Gacaca village courts (set up to try perpetrators and executors of the genocide in Rwanda) until they officially closed in June 2010.
The Agency also had specialized correspondents who covered the judicial activities related to the Rwandan genocide in Paris, Brussels, The Hague, and Montreal. In total, the ICTR issued verdicts on 63 accused, of whom 8 were acquitted. The Gacaca judged about 1,200,000 people.
At the beginning of 2011, the Hirondelle News Agency began to cover the work of the International Criminal Court, particularly in connection with the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Sudan. By partnering with the Fondation Hirondelle’s radios in these three countries, the Agency’s work gained wide access to the general public.
In July 2010, the United Nations Security Council extended the activities of the ICTR until December 31, 2012, when the Hirondelle News Agency closed its doors in Arusha. Fondation Hirondelle has expanded its coverage of international justice, transitional justice and reconciliation processes in societies trying to emerge from conflicts by developing the JusticeInfo.net website launched in 2015.