Reparation, a long awaited “dossier” for survivors of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi, continues to be an issue of concern not only for post-genocide Rwanda but also for the sub-region as a whole. In recognizing this, members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) passed a resolution yesterday officially supporting survivors call for the establishment of an International Trust Fund for survivors to provide reparations.
The resolution calls upon the EAC Summit (of Heads of State) to urge the UN to adopt a resolution establishing an International Trust Fund for survivors and that the EAC organise a regional conference to address the issues of Genocide as part of the 20th commemoration next year.
Nineteen years have passed since the start of the genocide against in April 1994 in which an estimated one million women, men and children were massacred in only 100 days. The genocide left behind orphans, widows and severely handicapped and traumatised individuals. Aside from immense personal losses and physical and psychological suffering, the genocide also caused severe material damage to survivors, many of whom have lost houses, livestock, farmland and other personal property. Thousands were displaced due to the genocide, women who’d lost their husbands lost their livelihoods and the education of orphans was severely disrupted. As a result, survivors are severely vulnerable and marginalised.
The East African Legislative assembly resolution marks another milestone in the campaign for survivors right to reparation. The right of genocide victims to reparation is, in fact, universally recognized and encompasses restitution, compensation, and rehabilitation. It is generally individuals, international community and states responsible for the victimization that should provide victims with reparations. We hope that Rwanda will consider following the example of the East African community by formally endorsing survivors call for the establishment of an International Trust Fund for survivors, and in doing so materialize their long waited right to reparation.
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Article posted by Albert Gasake