Adaptive challenges require longer time to solve. This is as a result of the need to understand the problem and placing society at the core in coming up with a solution. Society has always relied upon people in authority to offer solutions to their problems. Because of this, problems always recur after a short time fix is applied. Society will need to be empowered to realize they own the solution to their problems and people in authority are meant to assist by providing where necessary required resources and conducive environment. The adaptive challenge will require one who is exercising adaptive leadership to invest time to learn the ways of the society, understand the problem, negotiate purposes and to avoid common traps.
In 1994, the Republic of Rwanda lost approximately 800,000 people through genocide. Manslaughter started after news broke of the death of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana through a plane crash. The genocide involved two tribes; the Hutus and the Tutsi. Members of the Hutus tribe, including children, took part in stealing and destruction of properties, rape and killing of the Tutsi. Not all victims were Tutsi and not all Hutus engaged in the crime against humanity. Hutus who were against the killings or who attempted to protect Tutsi were also maimed or killed.
After the genocide, close to 130,000 people were arrested and imprisoned for having been suspected to have engaged in the genocide. The Rwanda government, in collaboration with the international criminal courts has endeavored in rebuilding the nation through ensuring justice for those who were affected. In 1998, the Rwanda government developed four different courts to prosecute suspects. These courts included foreign courts, International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda (ICTR), domestic military tribunals and domestic criminal courts. In 2004, which was 10 years after the genocide, ICTR had only managed to resolve a total of twenty-three cases. In addition, none of the four courts was able to resolve the problems of arbitrating genocide suspects.
In ensuring rapid reconciliation and rebuilding of the nation, the government of Rwandan formed a community-based judiciary system called gacaca in 2005 to try genocide crimes. Gacaca was run by the local judges and gave the local community an opportunity to take part in the healing process. This was on the basis that the local community would be the main actors as they were likely to have witnessed the killings and they know who amongst them committed the crime.
Giving the local judges an opportunity opened doors for transparency as the suspects were able to open up and confess their mistakes, seeking forgiveness from affected families. The local judges were responsible for ensuring a smooth arbitration process. Gacaca trials were to be completed by the end of 2007. This was not possible and the set deadlines were repeatedly extended. The trials were completed in 2010.
Dispensing justice and ensuring reconciliation took the courts longer than expected. Many families had gone through trauma of losing their loved ones, some who were maimed and raped were still in pain. The courts had to connect people to the purpose by providing a conducive environment for reconciliation. The courts had to learn to avoid the common traps such as jumping into conclusions.