Author Archives: Justice4Survivors

Ni iki cyihishe inyuma y’amagambo yavuzwe na Musenyeri Rucyahana?

rucyahana.igihe

Abarokotse jenoside bakomeje kwamagana ibyatangajwe na Musenyeri John Rucyahana ari nako benshi bibaza ikibyihishe inyuma. Mu nyandiko yasohotse mu kinyamakuru Igihe.com mu mpera z’icyumweru gishize Rucyahana yavuze ko “bitumvikana uburyo uwahigwaga ariwe ugaruka akavuga uko jenoside yakozwe kandi yari mu bwihisho’’. Rucyahana yongeyeho ko ibyo bigomba guhinduka, abakoze jenoside nabo bakajya batanga ubuhamya mu gihe cyo kwibuka.

Ikinyamakuru Igihe.com cyasohoye indi nkuru umunsi ukurikiyeho ivuga ko amagambo ya Musenyeri Rucyahana atavugwaho rumwe nyamara ntikigeze kimusaba ibisobanuro kuri aya magambo ye, na n’ubu akomeje kwibazwaho byinshi. Nta n’ubwo iki kinyamakuru kigize kibaza izindi nzego zibishinzwe nka CNLG aho zihagaze.

Hari ibikekwa ko byaba byihishe inyuma y’amagambo y’uyu mugabo ubusanzwe uvuga rikijyana, dore ko ari nawe perezida wa komisiyo y’igihugu y’ubumwe n’ubwiyunge.

Ese Rucyahana yavuze mw’ izina rye cyangwa mw’ izina rya Leta?

Rucyahana ni umugabo ufite ingofero nyinshi. Kumenya ingofero yari yambaye asaba ko abicitse kw’ icumu batakomeza gutanga ubuhamya kuko bari bihishe, byakoroshya kumenya icyihishe inyuma y’iryo cengezamatwara rye. Muri izo ngofero zinyuranye ziranga Rucyahana ndagaruka ku ngofero ze ebyeri: Ingofero y’ umucengezamatwara-politiki n’ingofero ye nk’umucuruzi.

Rucyahana nk’umucengezamatwara kandi uzobereye urubuga rwa politiki rwo mu Rwanda, biragoye kwemera ko yatangaza ariya magambo ku giti cye abyibwirije. Iyo usesenguye amagambo ye uko yanditswe n’ikinyamakuru Igihe.com ntutinda kubona ko ingofero ya politiki ariyo ihatse izindi.

Inkuru ya Igihe.com iterura ivuga ko ari abayobozi mu nzego zitandukanye bavuga ko ‘’bidakwiye ko ubuhamya bukomeza gutangwa n’abarokotse jenoside’’. Rucyahana akomeza ashimangira kandi ko atari CNLG atari na Ibuka bahitamo abatanga ubuhamya. Rucyahana ntiyaciye ku ruhande yeruye agira ati ‘’Nitwe’’ duhitamo abatanga ubuhamya ’’. Aya magambo ya Rucyahana ubwayo uyasuzumye neza aravanaho urujijo ku kibazo kijyanye no kumenya niba Rucyahana yaratanze ubutumwa mu izina rye cyangwa mu Izina rya Leta.

Kuba Brigadier general Rwigamba George, ushinzwe amagereza mu Rwanda, nawe yarunze mu rya Musenyeri Rucyahana ntamuvuguruze, ni ikindi kimenyetso kiganisha ku kumenya ingofero aba bayobozi bombi bari bambaye.

Musenyeri Rucyahana mu ngofero y’ubucuruzi

 Inyungu z’ubucuruzi zishobora kuba ziri mu byihishe inyuma y’amagambo y’ubushinyaguzi yavuzwe na Rucyahana.

Uretse kuba umukangurambaga-politiki, Rucyahana ni umucuruzi ubizobereyemo umaze kungukira akayabo k’amadorari mu kaga abarokotse batewe na Jenoside. Kuva mu mwaka wa 1995, Musenyeri Rucyahana yatangije ikigo ‘’Prison Fellowship Rwanda’’ Kigamije guhuza abarokotse jenoside n’ababiciye.

Uwo muryango wabonye ubuzima gatozi rugikubita mu gihe IBUKA-Rwanda byayifashe hafi imyaka 10 kugirango ihabwe ubuzima gatozi. Iki kigo na magingo aya Rucyahana akuriye, cyahawe amamiliyoni y’amadorari, amwe muri ayo mafaranga yakoreshejwe mu kubaka ibyiswe imidugudu y’ubwiyunge (Reconciliation Villages). Iyo midugudu iherereye mu turere 4 tw’igihugu cyane cyane Bugesera, igizwe n’amazu 820 arimo imiryango 4000. Mbere yo guhabwa inzu, Abarokotse bakennye, basabwa kubanza kubabarira ababiciye bafunguwe, hanyuma bakemera kubana mu nzu zikurikiranye n’abo bicanyi baziranye kuva kera,  mu rwego rw’ubwiyunge.

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Bamwe mu bacitse ku icumu basabwa kubabarira no guhobera ababiciye muri gahunda z’ikigo cyiyobowe na  Rucyahana. Photo/credit/Prison Fellowship Rwanda.

Ahasigaye abakozi bafata amafoto Musenyeri akoherereza abazungu n’inzego za Leta, maze amadorari akisuka.

Uretse iki kigo kitavugwaho rumwe, Rucyahana afite n’ishuri ryisumbuye i Musanze ryigamo abana bakomoka mu miryango yifite, ryitwa Sunrise.

Ntibitangaje kuba Musenyeri Rucyahana ari gusaba ko aba bicanyi ubusanzwe agororera amazu, noneho bahabwa n’intebe mu mihango yo kwibuka ngo bivuge imyato y’uko barimbuye abatutsi, mu gihe abarokotse batujwe rwagati mu babiciye, boshye intama mu birura.

Ntagushidikanya kandi ko abakoze jenoside nibahabwa urubuga, uwo mushinga uzakomeza kwinjiriza akayabo Musenyeri nkuko byagenze mu myaka irenga 20 ishize.

Amagambo ya Rucyahana: Integuza y’impinduka ziri gutegurwa

Abarokotse jenoside basesengura ibijyanye n’imicungire y’ingaruka za Jenoside, basanga ijambo rya Rucyahana na Jenerali Rwigamba byaba bica amarenga y’impinduka zikomeye ziri gutegurwa mu minsi iri imbere. Si rimwe si kabiri abakoze jenoside bagiye bahabwa ijambo mu mihango yo kwibuka jenoside mu bice bitandukanye by’igihugu muri iyi myaka 25 ishize. Yenda ikigiye gukorwa ni ugusakaza uwo muco wo guha rugari abacanyi mu mihango yo kwibuka mugihugu hose.

Hari n’abasesengura babona ariya magambo ya Rucyahana yaba agamije gutera ibuye mu gihuru ngo abafata ibyemezo barebe ikivumbukamo!

Ni nako byagenze ubwo serwakira ya “Ndi umunyarwanda’’ yatangiraga mu mwaka wa 2013.

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Musenyeri Rucyahana na Edouard Bamporiki. Photo/Rwanda Day Toronto

Icyo gihe, kimwe na Rucyahana, umucengezamatwara Edouard Bamporiki niwe washyizwe imbere ahari kugira ngo iyo porogaramu nitagenda neza nkuko yateguwe, byitirirwe Bamporiki nk’umuntu ku giti cye, hanyuma porogaramu nitungana igaruke mu maboko ya Leta. Ibisa birasabirana. Ahari Rucyahana yaba nawe ari ku kazi mu ngofero ye ya politiki.

Uwacitse kw’icumu yigijweyo, muri gahunda nyinshi zirebana na jenoside

Nkuko mu nyandiko zacu twakomeje kubigaragaza, uruhare rw’uwarokotse jenoside mu bijyanye no gucunga ingaruka za jenoside Leta yagiye ikomeza kuruburizamo uko umwaka ushize undi ugataha. Byahumiye ku murari ubwo mwaka wa 2016 itegeko ryasohotse rivuga ko n’imibiri y’abishwe n’inzibutso itari iya beneyo babuze ababo ahubwo ko ari umutungo wa Leta. Reba Itegeko rigenga umuhango wo kwibuka Jenoside yakorewe Abatutsi, imitunganyirize n’imicungire by’inzibutso za Jenoside yakorewe Abatutsi.

Iyo usomye iryo tegeko nta na hamwe ubona imiryango y’abarokotse cyangwa izindi nzego zabo zihabwa umwanya na muto mu micungire y’inzibutso n’imitunganyirize y’imihango yo kwibuka.

Icyagaragaye muri iyi myaka 25 ishize ni uko gusingiza uwahagaritse jenoside, n’amajyambere yazanye ariyo ntero igomba kwikirizwa cyane,  naho kuvuga umuzi n’umuhamuro wa jenoside ubwayo; igisare cy’iteka yasigiye abarokotse no gusigasira uko yazibukwa ubuziraherezo biza ari nk’inyunganizi y’agaciro gake.

Uwagize uruhare wese mu gutsinda Leta Mputu yatsembye abatutsi akwiye kubishimirwa iteka. Ariko se ko nta ngoma ihoraho, umunsi ingoma ya Kagame yasimbuwe n’indi ngoma,  ishaka kubyina undi mudiho, bizacura iki ko iyo ngoma yindi ntawuzayibuza gukoresha cyangwa gusenya umutungo wayo witwa inzibutso no kwibuka, cyane ko iyo leta izaba ibyemerewe n’amategeko yashyizweho mbere?Gushyira imibiri y’abarokotse n’inzibutso mu mutungo wa Leta ihindukana n’igihe ni ukureba hafi.

Kwibuka nibitandukanywe no muntebe ya penetensiya.

Abasomyi banyumve neza, sindwanya ko abanyarwanda bakwiyunga. Ariko nk’uwacitse kw’icumu, mfite uburenganzira bwo kwibuka abanjye ntawe untobeye. Ntabwo umwanya wo kwibuka abishwe muri jenoside, waharirwa abayikoze, ngo bavuge uko babigenje. No mu bisanzwe mu kunamira uwatabarutse, ntabwo bazana umwishi we mu cyunamo mu muryango, ngo abwire abari aho uko yamwivuganye. Niba ibyo bidakorwa mu buzima busanzwe, kuki uwo musaraba bashaka kuwugereka ku bacitse kw’icumu?

Niba kandi uyu muyobozi ashaka amakuru no kumva abagize uruhare mu bwicanyi, ndetse n’ababashije kwiyunga, afite gahunda ya ‘’ Ndi umunyarwanda’’ cyangwa yakwambara ingofero ye y’ubushumba agahamagaza abicanyi muri penetensiya, ubundi akareka abacitse kw’icumu n’inshuti zabo bakibuka ababo mu cyubahiro bakwiye. End

Albert G.

78% of Genocide convicts show no remorse

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Despite efforts by Rwanda Correctional Services (RCS) and partners, most people who took part in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi are yet to show remorse and apologize.

This was revealed Thursday by RCS Commissioner General, George Rwigamba, during an event in Ntarama, Bugesera District where 20 Genocide convicts apologized in public.

“25 years later, some people are yet to come forward and talk. They have had enough time to reflect on what they did and some are opening up. It has been a tough journey but together with Prison Fellowship we have achieved a lot and we believe others will also show remorse and apologize,” he said.

“We have over 27,000 Genocide convicts and many of them are yet to show remorse and apologize to the families of the victims, only about 6,000 (22.2 percent) have apologized and were forgiven by victims and reconciled,” revealed Rwigamba.

The programme started two decades ago and has helped some prisoners to reintegrate into their communities and meet with the victims and reconcile.

Through the programme, inmates are taken through a transformational period of about six months and those whose hearts are convinced write letters of apology to the victims’ families detailing the former’s role in killing the latter’s family members.

One of those who apologized was Innocent Mukumira, a former pastor of one of the local churches in the current Ntarama sector but confessed having betrayed and killed people he had to protect.

“I betrayed those I was supposed to protect and ignored my responsibilities as a pastor,” he said.

“I was no longer a human being but an animal, I apologize to the families whose relatives I killed. I apologize to the family of Francois Gakayire (who was present) I killed her sister, a neighbor who hid there and another lady I could not identify.

I also killed at people who sought haven at Ntarama Pentecostal church and I was involved in several other attacks. We would carry bodies on a wheelbarrow and dump them close to the church, but I had never recognized my role in the tragedy,” he added.

Fabien Hategekimana who is serving a life sentence was a soldier in the former Rwandan army (Ex-FAR).

“We used heavy guns to exterminate the Tutsi and I personally led several attacks in public places such as schools and churches. I bow to apologize to the victims, my family as well as the general public as a whole,” he said

For genocide victims, such as Gakayire, though knowing people who killed his family members cannot resurrect them, it at least relieves him.

“I did not know it was Mukumira who killed my family members until recently and wondered why it took him over 20 years and never apologized before. But since he apologized with his whole heart I also forgive him from the bottom of my heart,” said Gakayire before hugging Mukumira.

First appeared in the New Times Rwanda By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

A well-known #Genocide Survivor Gets Married

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Author Reverien Rurangwa and his wife Jeanine. Photo/Courtesy

One of the most inspiring survivors of the Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi, Reverien Rurangwa, got married yesterday in a colorful ceremony in Kigali.

Rurangwa rose above incredible adversities to live almost a normal but at times astonishing, life. Every single inch of Rurangwa’s body bears witness to unspeakable atrocities Tutsis endured at the hands of Hutus in the 1994 genocide.

In addition to several machete blows that disfigured his face, Rurangwa lost his left eye, left arm and thanks to modern advances in medicine, doctors reattached parts of his sliced nose.

Today, this author of one of the best memoir on the genocide, my stolen Rwanda, is about to achieve his long-awaited life purpose: to give birth to little Tutsis who will continue his mission to tell the story. ”That is my greatest revenge to the Hutus who killed me” said Rurangwa in his book. 

Rurangwa currently lives in Neuchatel, Switzerland. He is now a proud husband of Jeanine, a beautiful young lady from Rwamagana, a town in the eastern part of Rwanda.

Many celebrities attended their wedding ceremony including the legend Rwandan singer, Cecile Kayirebwa, who performed acapella singing with the crowd in a traditional ceremony following the vows at  Kimihurura sub-county (Sector) office.

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Reverien Rurangwa without his artificial eye/Photo: Kristian Skeie

Reverien Rurangwa was 15 when he watched 43 members of his family being butchered by the Hutus during the genocide.  The story of Rurangwa was featured in the Guardian, TV France, DW, and other major European media outlets. Click here to watch the story of Reverien.

Written by Albert Gasake

Our most-read stories of 2018

2019 is just around the corner. The number of our readers continues to expand and our commitment to challenge injustice and indifference grows even stronger. I believe that each and every aspect of Genocide survivors’ life is a story worth telling—their opinions, their fears, and their hopes. As I look back on our most-read pieces of 2018, I’m glad that all these aspects won your attention this year.

  1.  Top 5 Rwanda Genocide Survivors on the move in 2018Eric+Murangwa+Eugene+Investitures+Buckingham+HRkgGaASSLtl
  2. Uwacitse ku icumu rya jenoside yakorewe abatutsi ni nde?
    Dr. Philippe Basabose
    Dr. Philippe Basabose. Photo/Aude Pidoux
  3. Xi Jinping at Kigali Genocide Memorial: Tribute or Hypocrisy?xi-jinping-quote
  4. The Dark legacy of #KofiAnnan

    Former UN secretary General, Kofi Annan. Photo credit: Pulse.com

  5. Unrepentant ”genocidaire”…

    philibert_muzima

    Author of ”Imbibé de leur sang, gravé de leurs noms”, Philibert Muzima.

  6. Nyuma y’amezi atatu yo “kwibuka twiyubaka”, tunibaze.kwibuka_16
  7. Can Genocide Survivors Forgive the Perpetrators?forgiveness Happy New year to you all! End.   Albert G

Is Genocide Predictable? Researchers Say Absolutely

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History, unfortunately, does repeat itself. Two thousand years ago the Romans laid siege to Carthage, killing more than half of the city’s residents and enslaving the rest.

Hitler attempted to annihilate the Jews in Europe. In 1994 the Hutus turned on the Tutsis in Rwanda. The Khmer Rouge killed a quarter of Cambodia’s population. After the breakup of Yugoslavia, Serbs slaughtered thousands of Bosnians at Srebrenica in July of 1995.

Last year when Buddhists attacked Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, many people were shocked to hear that mass killings still occur in the 21st century. But they do – and there’s growing evidence that these events follow familiar patterns. And if they do, we should be able to see them coming.

“Genocides are not spontaneous,” says Jill Savitt, acting director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. “In the lead-up to these types of crimes we do see a consistent set of things happening.”

Since 2014, the Holocaust Museum and scholars from Dartmouth have mapped the conditions that precede a genocide. They built a database of every mass killing since World War II. Then they went back and looked at the conditions in the countries where the killings occurred just prior to the attacks. And now they use that computer model to analyze which nations currently are at greatest risk.

“We’re not forecasting with precision. That’s not the intention of the tool,” Savitt says. “What we’re doing is trying to alert policymakers that here’s a situation that is ripe for horrors to happen and give them a heads up that there are actions that can be taken to avert it.”

In the three years prior to the attacks on the Rohingya, Myanmar ranked as the country most likely to have a mass killing for two of those years and ranked No. 3 the other year.

The museum’s computer model analyzes statistics that you might think have nothing to do with genocide — fluctuations in per capita gross domestic product, infant mortality rates, overall population. Such factors, they believe, are indicators of inequality, poverty and economic instability.

They also plug in data about recent coup attempts, levels of authoritarianism, civil rights, political killings and ethnic polarization.

Lawrence Woocher, the research director at the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, has worked on the Early Warning Project since 2014. He says that the form of government is one of the key data points in their computer model. The most dangerous appears to be a regime that’s not a full dictatorship but also not a full democracy.

“The prevailing view about why mass atrocities occur is that they tend to be decisions by political elites when they feel under threat and in a condition of instability,” Woocher says. “And there’s lots of analysis that suggests that these middle regime types are less stable than full democracies or full autocracies.”

The Early Warning Project ranks 162 countries by their potential for a new mass killing to erupt in the coming year. They define a “mass killing” as more than 1,000 people being killed by soldiers, a militia or some other armed group. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is currently the most at risk followed by Afghanistan.

Egypt is No. 3 on the list. The researchers note that Egypt was ranked so high because of a variety of factors including a lack of freedom of movement of men, a history of mass killings and a recent coup d’etat. They add that Egypt faces multiple security threats and that “there have been reports of large-scale attacks by extremist groups, including IS [Islamic State], on Christians and Sufi Muslims, and violence against civilians perpetrated by both insurgents and government forces in the Sinai Peninsula.”

War-torn South Sudan is No. 4 on the list. Its incredibly brutal civil war is expected to get even worse.

Greg Stanton, a professor at George Mason University and the president of Genocide Watch, agrees with the goal of the Early Warning Project rankings but disagrees with their methods. Stanton says the Holocaust Museum’s model is overly dependent on national data that are often released only once a year.

“They tend to notice that there is a risk of genocide too late,” Stanton says.

Rather than looking at statistics to try to predict mass killings, he argues that you should look at events.

“In other words, it’s not enough to know that you have an authoritarian regime,” he says. “It’s important to know what that authoritarian regime is doing.”

Stanton has come up with a genocide prediction model based on 10 stages of genocide. His model starts with the classification of people by ethnicity, race or religion, moves through dehumanization, persecution, and extermination before stage 10 — denial during and immediately after a genocidal act.

Interestingly, the U.S. currently ticks off many of the early stages of a country headed for a bloodbath, according to Stanton. There’s polarization, discrimination, dehumanization. But strong legal and government institutions in the U.S. are likely to block such a disaster from happening, he says.

The information that Genocide Watch and the Holocaust Museum are sifting through has been available to national security agencies for decades. The big question is what to do with this information. At the time of the Rwandan genocide in 1994, Stanton was working in the State Department; he says top government officials knew that the violence was about to begin.

“When President Clinton said after the Rwandan genocide, ‘We really didn’t know.’ I’ll be direct. He was lying. He did know,” Stanton says. “I’ve read the confidential cables that came in from Rwanda from our ambassador there months before that genocide. And they knew it was coming.”

Stanton’s 10 stages of genocide and the Holocaust Museum’s Early Warning Project are both attempts to spread information more widely about the early rumblings of genocide so that world leaders and others might be able to stop it. End

By Jason Beaubien, First appeared at NPR.

 

 

A Great Woman Called Zula Karuhimbi

A Rwandan hero who exploited superstition to save lives during the genocide has died at 106. Zula Karuhumbi. Photo/The New Times.

Sula (Zula) Karuhimbi, who died Dec. 17 at the impressive age of 106, lived her whole life in the village of Musamo in central Rwanda, where she is celebrated as a hero. A Hutu widow born into a family of healers in the Gitarama district, she is remembered as one of the so-called indakemwa (righteous): Hutus who saved Tutsi lives during the 1994 genocide.

At the time, Karuhimbi, who declared she was born in 1912, which would have made her 82 (though older reports say she might have been 72, or even 69, and it’s nearly impossible to confirm for sure). According to reconstructions from the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), the University of Texas, and the Kigali Genocide Memorial, she lived alone and would lodge workers to supplement her income as a healer and a sustenance farmer.

As the genocide against the Tutsi reached her district and the Interahamwe, the Hutu militia responsible of the genocide, began slaughtering Tutsi, Karuhimbi refused to join the massacre, and instead, according to her testimony, she hid dozens of people. “I put [the people] here in the compound and covered them with dry leaves of beans and baskets,” Karuhimbi said. “I hid so many people that I don’t know some of their names. I hid little babies I found on the backs of their dead mothers, and I brought them here.”

Karuhimbi remembered seeing ethnic violence dot her entire life, and said that just as her family and in-laws hid Tutsi during previous bouts of genocidal violence (presumably in the 1960s, when the first wave of violence against Tutsi erupted, forcing many to flee as refugees), she felt she was responsible to save as many people as she could.

She turned superstition in her favor. As a woman, a healer, and a widow, Karuhimbi was believed to be a witch possessed by the so-called Nyabingi, powerful evil spirits. She used the belief against the militia: When she was accused of hiding Tutsi in her hut or in her garden, she would suggest that the militia go take a look at the risk of being attacked by the evil spirit.

She recalls going to a bedroom and making noise with casserole dishes and stones, then shouting spell-like words at militia members, who became frightened enough to leave her alone. “I used to say ‘If I die, you will also die, but the [Nyabingi] will eat [you],” she remembered in a video.

Thanks to her manipulation of traditional beliefs—she even used poisonous herbs to cause irritation to the skin of militia members, making them believe it was sorcery—Karuhimbi saved as many as 100 Tutsis, many moderate Hutus and Twa (the third ethnic group of Rwanda), and even three white men in her home, feeding them from her plot of land and hiding them there.

She continued to live in the same hut she had before the genocide, even after Karuhimbi was recognized as a hero. She has been celebrated as an example of ubumuntu, a South African Zulu word used to express commitment against genocide: “I am because you are and you are because I am.”

Karuhimbi expresses the concept perfectly in her video statement. Far beyond the remembrance of her genocide, her words resonate poignantly in their succinctness. ”If you want to love,” she says, “you start with your neighbor.”  Click to read more about the story of Zula.

Reparation for Genocide Survivors is a Human Right

 

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Today is World Human Rights Day. Right now, the rights of genocide survivors to get adequate and prompt reparation remains in limbo.  This is obviously in stark violation of article 8 of the human rights declaration that we celebrate today. 25 years after the annihilation of Rwanda’s Tutsi in 1994 genocide and 70 years after the adoption of both  human rights declaration and genocide convention, Let us keep calling  for reparation, the Government of Rwanda, the international community and several multinational corporations that made genocide possible: BNP Paribas bank, Belgolaise, IMF, Wordbank to name but a few. End.

Related articles: Reflections on Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the right to effective remedy for survivors of the 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda to mark Human Rights Day

70th Anniversary of the Genocide Convention: So what?

Today December 07, 2018, marks the 70th Anniversary of the 1948 Genocide Convention. This same day was designed, the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime. Watch the 1-minute video by the UN Chief, Antonio Guterres and learn more. Click here to watch Guterres’ Opening remarks, during the event held at the UN headquarters today. He calls for the 45 remaining countries to ratify the convention and reparation to the victims.

Albert.

‘The Barefoot Woman’ Keeps a Mother’s Memory Alive

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Alessandra Montalto/The New York Times

“A mother’s dead body is not to be seen,” the writer Scholastique Mukasonga’s mother, Stefania, would tell her girls. “You’ll have to cover me, my daughters, that’s your job and no one else’s.”

But no one covered her. There were no daughters left. Stefania’s girls — all except Scholastique, who had fled to France — were among 37 family members massacred in the Rwandan genocide in the spring of 1994, when the Hutu majority turned on their Tutsi neighbors, killing more than 800,000 people in 100 days. Elementary school teachers attacked their students. Priests hacked their parishioners to death. The bones of Mukasonga’s family lay scattered and anonymous, in ossuaries or simply where they had fallen.

Mukasonga and one brother survived, saved by their mother’s ingenuity. She had them smuggled into Burundi, then Senegal, when they were teenagers, many years before the genocide began. The siblings made a pact; one would study while the other worked to support them, then they’d keep switching, back and forth. Mukasonga later became a social worker and settled in France; her brother became a doctor.

In “The Barefoot Woman,” Mukasonga’s latest book, translated from the French into English by Jordan Stump, she attempts to fulfill her daughterly duty: “Mama, I wasn’t there to cover your body, and all I have left is words — words in a language you didn’t understand — to do as you asked. And I’m all alone with my feeble words, and on the pages of my notebook, over and over, my sentences weave a shroud for your missing body.”

It’s a slender memoir, slightly shapeless but radiant with love. It might best be read as a companion to “Cockroaches,” Mukasonga’s devastating first book about her childhood and what she was able to learn about the slaughter of her family. (“Cockroach” was the Hutu epithet of choice for the Tutsis.) The earlier book is a compendium of unspeakable crimes and horrifically inventive sadism, delivered in an even, unwavering tone. Mukasonga intended it to be a “paper grave” for her dead; the last paragraph is just a list of their names: this one whose rice she had loved, another who thought himself so handsome, the one killed along with her 10 children.

The new book is gentler, in some ways. Mukasonga takes a few pages to touch on the roots of the genocide — Belgium’s poisonous colonial policy of divide-and-rule, creating an apartheid state — but the gaze of the book is softer than in her earlier work. That shroud of language with which she wants to wrap her mother’s body contains warm memories. The narrative unfurls like an album, broken into topics, swift as songs: “Bread,” “Beauty and marriage,” “Sorghum.” Through these short meditations, she recalls her mother and a whole vanished world.

Scholastique Mukasonga

Author Scholastique Mukasonga. Photo/Alessandra Montalto/The New York Times

It is the world of the inzu, the family’s straw hut, with its “maternal curves.” Home-brewed beer bubbled at the foot of her parents’ bed, where the youngest daughters would sleep. The boys bunked down with the baby calves. Mukasonga brings to life the old ways — of teaching your feet to see in the dark, so you won’t injure yourself while walking home late at night; of learning to flatter your favorite cow; of weaving together grasses to make a cradle for a baby while you work in the fields, building it just so, to keep out snakes and the sun.

The memories of “women’s affairs,” their work and their warm, gossipy sorority, have a special sheen. In France, Mukasonga still longs for the way Tutsi women would share tobacco pipes: “I stand for many minutes at the window of the shop that sells pipes. I don’t dare go in, that’s a man’s place. I soon come to my senses. How delicious could any tobacco be if there’s no woman to trade pipes with?”

Mukasonga recounts these rituals — of sisterhood and maternity — because she yearns for them, but also because Tutsi women were targeted in the massacre — and explicitly for their life-giving powers. The radio programs so instrumental in kindling the violence instructed Hutus to take special care to disembowel pregnant Tutsi women. In one instance recalled in this book, Hutu soldiers shot a girl from the village. They didn’t aim for the heart, Stefania told her daughters. “They aimed for her breasts, only her breasts. They wanted to tell us Tutsi women: ‘Don’t bear any children, because when you bring them into this world you’re giving them death. You’re not bearers of life anymore, you’re bearers of death.’ ”

In Philip Gourevitch’s masterly 1999 book about the genocide, “We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families,” he writes that every Rwandan he met had a favorite unanswerable question about the genocide. For one Tutsi man, it was “how so many Tutsis had allowed themselves to be killed.” Why blame them? Perhaps because to acknowledge how ferociously they struggled to save themselves, and how futilely, is too heartbreaking. For Stefania, protecting her children was an obsession. Hutu soldiers conducted regular raids on the home, and she “developed a sixth sense, the sense of an animal forever on the lookout for predators.” She left heaps of wild grass in the fields for her girls to hide in. She widened the burrows left by the anteaters, cut hidden doors in the home to give her children a chance to escape, ran dress rehearsals. She charted escape routes to the borders, hid food underground at designated spots and periodically refreshed supplies.

This work of preservation did not end with Stefania. “The Barefoot Woman” powerfully continues the tradition of women’s work it so lovingly recounts. In Mukasonga’s village, the women were in charge of the fire. They stoked it, kept it going all night, every night. In her work — six searing books and counting — she has become the keeper of the flame. Click here to get your own copy in English.  Original French version also available here.

Source: By Parul Sehgal, First appeared in the New York Times 12/04/2018. 

 

 

 

Igice cya 1: Ibintu bikwiye Kurangirana no Kwibuka25


Kinazi Memorial, Southern Province, is home to around 60,000 victims. Bodies were thrown in a mass grave in a place called Rutabo nearby.  Photo: Pitt Rivers Museum

Mu myaka 25 ishize, imihango yo kwibuka abazize jenoside yakorewe abatutsi yagiye ihindura isura uko umwaka ushize undi ugataha. Abacitse ku icumu n’imiryango irengera inyungu zabo ni na ko bagiye basa n’abahezwa kurushaho, mu gufata ibyemezo birebana no kwibuka n’imicungire y’ingaruka za jenoside muri rusange. 

Mu gihe dusatira Kwibuka25, ibintu bikurikira bikwiye kurangirana n’imyaka 25 ishize.

Icya mbere: Abarokotse jenoside kugirwa nk’indororerezi mu gihe cyo kunamira ababo

Niba ujya witabira ibikorwa byo kwibuka, nta gushidikanya ko iki kibazo nawe wakibonye cyangwa nibura wakibajijeho. 

Ubwo mperuka kujya kwibuka ababyeyi banjye bishwe muri jenoside, twarabyutse kare tujya kugura umuzingo w’indabo nziza. Turamanutse mu majyepfo aho mvuka. Kuri uwo mugoroba ducana igishyito, dutaramira abacu buracya. Abahanzi bakoze mu nganzo y’ ishavu, yewe nyobora n’ikiganiro ku mateka ya jenoside, abahanga batubwira umuzi n’umuhamuro w’irimburabatutsi rya 94.

Bucyeye umuhango nyir’izina wo kwibuka urakomeza. Uwacitse ku icumu warokokeye muri aka gace atanga ubuhamya, Padiri asomera igitambo cya Misa aho, n’abanyapolitiki bavuga amagambo nk’uko bisanzwe yiganjemo gahunda za leta!

Tugeze mu mwanya wo kunamira abacu no gushyira indabo aho baruhukiye ni bwo ikibazo cyavutse. Nk’uko bimenyerewe, abayobozi mu nzego zitandukanye  n’imiryango yabo, ni bo bahamagawe bwa mbere kujya gushyira indabo ku mva uboshye ari bo bapfushije!

 Hakurikiraho abakuru b’ingabo, Polisi, abahagarariye amadini! Kera kabaye natwe  abacitse ku icumu twemerewe gukurikira abandi.

Ubwo tubyigana tugana ku ka zitiro gafunganye k’utwuma duto tw’umweru tuzengurutse urwibutso abacu bashyinguwemo. Kimwe n’abandi barokotse twari kumwe, nifuzaga amahirwe yo gushyira indabo ku mva rusange ishyiguwemo mama na bashiki banjye batatu twakurikiranaga mu ituze.

Ayo mahirwe icyokora yagizwe na bake babashije kubyigana cyangwa kunyura mu rihumye abapolisi badusubizaga inyuma ngo tudahutaza ba nyakubahwa.

Ababuze ababo benshi biganjemo ababyeyi bakuze, bagumye inyuma y’uruzitiro bashungera uwo muhango  nk’indorerezi.

Iyi migirire icuramye nasanze idakorwa iwacu gusa. Ahubwo, imaze kumenyerwa nk’ihame mu mihango yo kwibuka ku buryo hari n’abantu bamwe babona ntacyo bitwaye.

No kurwego rw’igihugu biracyakorwa. Ubwo twibukaga ku nshuro ya 20, umuyobozi wa IBUKA uretse no gushyirwa ku mwanya w’inyuma, ntiyemerewe no gushyira indabo ku mva nk’uhagarariye abarokotse jenoside. Impamvu ngo ni uko hari abanyacyubahiro benshi baturutse mu mahanga. Ibyo twarabigaye, icyokora, umwaka ukurikiyeho birakosorwa.

Ahandi mu ntara ababuze ababo baracyafatwa nk’indorerezi mu mihango yo kunamira ababo. Ngo ni Protocole! Abayobozi ngo ni bo babanza kujya kunamira abishwe kabone n’ubwo muri abo bayobozi haba harimo n’abagize uruhare muri Jenoside.

Umufasha wanjye aherutse kumbwira ukuntu iyo bajyaga kwibuka iwabo mu bice byo mu majyaruguru, Rucagu Bonifasi ari we wabaga ari umushyitsi mukuru ushyira indabo ku mva bwa mbere, nyamara ubwe ashinjwa kugira uruhare mu gutsemba abatutsi muri ako karere.

Ntihagire unyumva nabi

Ntabwo nsaba ko abarokotse jenoside bahabwa icyubahiro kidasanzwe cyangwa bagirirwa impuhwe (Pity) mu mihango yo kwibuka. Oya. 

Niba hari isomo rimwe jenoside yatwigishije nk’abayirokotse, ni ukutagira icyo dutegereza ku muntu uwo ari we wese. Izo mpuhwe n’icyubahiro  twazihebye igihe Abahutu baduhigaga nk’inyamaswa zo mu gasozi ku manywa y’ihangu.

Icyo nsaba ni uko hajya habaho ubushishozi no gushyira mu gaciro muri bene ibi bikorwa. Tukagishwa inama. Hari utuntu duto duto abantu rimwe na rimwe birengagiza nyamara dutoneka ibikomere by’iteka jenoside yadusigiye. 

Ese ko mu muco nyarwanda n’ubundi uwapfushije ari we utabarwa, akayagirwa mu gihe cyo kwera no kwirabura, agahozwa, kuki tatakongera kwisunga uwo umuco mwiza maze abacitse ku icumu bakajya baherekezwa mu kwibuka aho guherekeza abandi?

Tanga igitekerezo cyawe muri comment.  Inkuru izakurikiraho tuzavuga icya 2 gikwiye kurangirana no kwibuka25! End. 

Albert 

Elusive Justice


Bisesero in 2015. Photo/AFP

French judges have rejected a bid by survivors of Rwanda’s genocide to reopen an investigation into claims that French troops were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people they had promised to rescue.
A source close to the case said Wednesday that three war crimes judges had on November 22 dismissed the bid to reopen an investigation that symbolizes deep wounds between Rwanda and France over the 1994 slaughter.

Six survivors, backed by human rights groups and other plaintiffs, had launched a legal case in 2005 accusing French soldiers of abandoning Tutsi civilians in Bisesero, western Rwanda, in June 1994.
The probe was shut down in July as no one had been charged during 13 years of investigation.

The survivors say French soldiers had promised to rescue terrified Tutsis hiding in the hills of Bisesero at the height of the killing on June 27, 1994.
The troops arrived only three days later — after hundreds of people had been massacred by genocidal allies of the Hutu government which had been backed by Paris for years.
Their deaths came nearly three months into the 100-day killing spree that left an estimated 800,000 people dead, most of them members of the Tutsi ethnic minority.

In October, the plaintiffs’ lawyers filed a request urging investigators to take further action despite the case being closed, including seeking testimony from soldiers and journalists who were nearby on June 27, 1994.
But the judges ruled that further enquiry would “not be useful to ascertain the truth, nor reasonable given how long proceedings have been underway”.
Patrick Baudouin, a lawyer for the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights, said the plaintiffs intended to appeal the latest decision.

France’s support for the ethnic Hutu forces which carried out most of the slaughter has been a source of deep acrimony in its relations with Rwanda ever since the genocide.
France has admitted mistakes but denied Rwandan accusations of complicity in the mass killings.

Source: First appeared in AFP today. 

Holocaust: Dutch rail firm NS to pay families compensation

RailThe Netherlands’ state-run rail company NS has agreed to set up a commission to compensate Holocaust survivors and their relatives for transporting Jews to a Nazi transit camp.
Isn’t this another stark reminder that we, the survivors of Genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda, need to keep calling for reparation against those who made the extermination of over 1 million Tutsis possible?

Should we wait for 70 years to sue the Government of Rwanda and its donors in 1994 including but not limited to IMF, World Bank,  a dozen French and Belgian banks and countries such as France, Egypt, South Africa, UK, China, …that sold weapons to the genocidal government violating the  UN arms embargo on Rwanda? No Somebody needs to do something and the sooner the better!

Read more…

Its decision to “learn, honor and remember in an enduring way” followed a campaign by Salo Muller, whose parents were murdered at Auschwitz.

Some 107,000 Jews were taken to Westerbork and deported, mainly to deaths camps at Auschwitz and Sobibor.

Only 5,000 survived.

NS said it had decided to avoid a legal battle, years after French rail company SNCF was ordered to pay compensation for its role in deporting 76,000 French Jews during World War Two.

SNCF eventually apologized for its role in 2010 and later agreed a compensation fund after US lawmakers threatened to bar the state-run company from rail contracts.

NS has already apologized in the past for its role in helping the Nazi occupiers in World War Two and has contributed to the renovation of the museum at Westerbork.

What was the Dutch railway’s role in deportations?

NS said in a statement on Tuesday that it had operated trains on behalf of Germany’s Nazi occupiers, describing it as a black page in the history of the company and country.

But it did more than just run the trains.

“The NS complied with the German order to make trains available,” Dirk Mulder from the National Westerbork Memorial told Dutch TV last year. “The Germans paid for it and said the NS had to come up with a timetable. And the company went and did it without a word of objection.”

NS made an estimated €2.5m (£2.2; $2.8m) in today’s terms, Dutch public broadcaster NOS estimates, in transporting Jews from across the Netherlands to the Westerbork camp.

Westerbork became a transit camp in 1941 and the first deportees left on 15 July 1942. The final train left on 13 September 1944, with 279 Jews on board. Among those deported from the camp were 245 Sinti and Roma.

Who is Salo Muller?

Salo Muller is a former physiotherapist at top Dutch football club Ajax.

In 1941, when he was five, his parents were arrested by the Nazis and put on a train from the capital Amsterdam to Westerbork, where they spent nine weeks before being deported to Auschwitz and murdered.

He decided to act when he heard that the French government had agreed a $60m compensation fund with the US to be distributed among thousands of survivors and their relatives.

After a number of meetings with NS chief executive Roger Boxtel, the company decided a commission would be set up to work out how to compensate survivors and immediate family.

“I don’t think I would have dared dream of this outcome,” he told Dutch TV in an emotional interview. “For me, it means that the NS recognized that this pain has not gone. The grief is still there for very many Jewish people.”

Source: BBC

Recognizing the Genocide of the Yazidis or looking the other way

Now try to answer this question: Should Israel, the state that rose from the ashes of the Holocaust recognize and acknowledge a genocide when it happens to other people?

yazidi-women
Mass graves where unidentified men, women, and children are lying together are being discovered near Mosul, Kirkuk and Sinjar mountain. The horrific discoveries of these nameless victims remind us all of what have happened in Iraq four years ago, when the world was looking the other way.
Back in 2014, the ancient Yazidi community that survived Persian, Arab and Ottoman empires was brutally attacked by the terrorists of Da’esh (ISIS). Their houses were burned with their inhabitants inside, small children were slaughtered with horrific sadism, men were shot and thrown to mass graves and women were turned into sex slaves. All that just for being Yazidi.
Sadistic Dae’sh death squads didn’t need any other reason; according to their violent and crazy ideology, any group of people who didn’t belong to three monotheistic religions was supposed to be exterminated, cleansed, destroyed. UN general secretary Boutrous Ghali once said that people didn’t believe a genocide can be performed with a machete (he was talking about the massacre in Rwanda). Apparently, a genocide can be performed even during the Internet era, when everyone is watching it on their smartphones.

Last Khmer Rouge leaders guilty of genocide, get life terms

Polpot

Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan both number 2 after Pol Pot. Photo BBC

This is an exciting and long-awaited news for us the genocide survivors globally! For the first time, two leaders of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia have been convicted of genocide. To make sense of it all, think of them as the Hutu extremist Theoneste Bagosora or Jean Kambanda during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi or  Adolph Hitler’s deputies like Heinrich Himmler or Frank Hans during the Holocaust. I noticed another pattern here: Like the Rwandan Hutu ‘genocidaires’  and Nazis criminals, these Cambodian ‘genocidaires’ have no single shred of remorse.  They claim to be targets of political persecution!

Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan were sentenced to life in prison, the same sentence they are already serving after earlier convictions at a previous trial for crimes against humanity connected with forced transfers and mass disappearances of people. Cambodia has no death penalty. Click here to read more as reported by AP News

Albert.

 

Ubuhamya: Naguzwe Ibihumbi 20

Sinaherukaga kumva ubuhamya bukora kumutima! Muri iyi video Rasta Rurangirwa Darius (Jah Bone D), aravuga itotezwa yanyuzemo kuva akivuka nk’umututsi, Imfu nyinshi yasimbutse mbere no mugihe cy’irimburabatutsi  rya 94. Nubwo imvi zimaze kuba uruyenzi kumutwe we,  hari aho agera ikiniga kikamufata, amarira agashoka ava mu maso ye yabonye byinshi. Mu gace ko hagati, avuga birambuye ubuzima butazwi cyane we n’abandi batutsi babayemo muri Kasho bafungiwemo bashinjwa kuba ‘ibyitso’ by’inkotanyi mbere gato ya 94. Mugace ka nyuma avuga uko yatakaje intoki n’uko yaguzwe ibihumbi 20 by’amafaranga y’u Rwanda kugirango arokoke.  Kanda hano urebe ubuhamya burambuye

Kizito Mihigo: Aho Kuguhomba Yaguhombya

Aho kuguhomba yaguhombya! Ngiryo izina Kizito Mihigo yahisemo kwita indirimbo ye nshya yasohoye none, nyuma y’imyaka hafi 5 amaze  muri gereza. Naherukaga kwandika kuri Kizito Mihigo ubwo  namaganaga ikinamico Leta yateguye kuva ashimutswe mu kwezi kwa kane 2015, agatambagizwa imbere y’itangazamakuru asa n’uhatwa kwemera ibyaha,  kugeza akatiwe imyaka imyaka 10 y’igifungo. Nakoze umwuga wo kuburanira abandi mu Rwanda (Avoka) ariko sinigeze mbona urubanza rufifitse nk’urwa Kizito. Kanda hano wumve unarebe amashusho y’indirimbo nziza uyu mugenzi wacu warokotse irimburabatutsi yasohoye none. 

Nobel Peace winner Murad urges global fight against genocide

 

 

Nadia Murad

Nadia Murad. (Patrick Seeger/EPA)

A co-winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize called Monday for a global fight against genocide and sexual violence, pledging to be a voice for victims around the world.

 

Iraqi Nadia Murad said in her first news conference since accepting the award that she feels obligated to use her voice to defend the rights of persecuted people around the world.

“We must work together to put an end to genocide, hold accountable those who commit these crimes and achieve justice for the victims,” Murad told a packed room at the National Press Club.

The 25-year-old Murad was among thousands of women and girls from the Yazidi minority who was kidnapped and enslaved in 2014 by the group that calls itself the Islamic State. The Yazidis are an ancient religious minority who trace their roots to a number of small villages in a remote part of northern Iraq.

Murad was awarded the peace prize Friday along with Congo’s Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist who treats women victims of sexual violence.

Murad said she is honored to be a Nobel recipient, but said much more needs to be done to bring the perpetrators of the crimes against her and other Yezidis to justice.

So far we have not seen justice happen for the Yazidis, especially the victims of sexual slavery,” she said, adding that said she would like to see Islamic State fighters stand trial for their crimes.

In 2016, Murad was named the United Nation’s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.

A U.N. investigation into crimes committed by IS was formed in 2017 and began collecting and preserving evidence in August. Trials of IS fighters conducted by Iraqi and Syrian forces have come under criticism from human rights groups who claim the proceedings are rushed, flawed and often reliant on confessions extracted under torture.

Murad also called on the Iraqi government and the international community to rebuild Yezidi towns and villages destroyed by the war against IS.

With little reconstruction aid, most Yezidi territory retaken from IS in Iraq remain in ruins. The high level of destruction combined with inadequate security forces on the ground has left tens of thousands of Yezidis stuck living in camps for displaced persons years after their homes were declared liberated.

Murad outlined plans to focus more on rebuilding Yezidi communities in Iraq going forward. “But without peace, even if we rebuild, life is not possible,” she added.

The peace prize this year comes amid a climate of greater attention to female victims of sexual abuse worldwide highlighted by the #MeToo movement. When asked about the movement and how it relates to her experience, Murad said she hopes all survivors of sexual violence feel safe to share their stories.

“My hope is that all women who speak about their experience of sexual violence are heard and accepted,” she said.

 By Susannah George | AP

The Story of Peter Uwimana

I had no idea this man carried such a moving story. Yet, we went to the same high school and would bump into each other quite often in Butare, the town we grew up in. Late last week, Peter bravely shared the ordeal he experienced during the 1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi. Click to watch the entire testimony in French!

Credit: TheMukwende Youtube Channel.

How the Dogmatic Ideology of Forgiveness Can Harm Genocide Survivors

The virtues of forgiveness in many different contexts of life are manifold and well known. Forgiveness can encourage and enable healing, peaceful relations, improved individual and social welfare, and psychological well being.

But forgiveness is a personal choice and it must not be coerced, whether implicitly or explicitly.

It is not a panacea.

Its idealization as a necessary prerequisite for peaceful relations in post-genocide Rwanda is neither ethically nor psychologically fair nor is it healthy. Many genocide survivors do not feel any desire to forgive the individuals who raped, tortured, and murdered their friends and family members and who raped, tortured, and assaulted so many survivors of the genocide still struggling with physical and emotional wounds from it.

Many genocide perpetrators in Rwanda feel and show no remorse, have not repented, and continue to intimidate and attack genocide survivors and foment racist anti-Tutsi hatred. Over 100 genocide survivors have been murdered since the end of the genocide by unrepentant genocide perpetrators who maintain their Hutu supremacist annihilationist ideology.

While for some genocide survivors forgiveness is part of a personal process of healing for many others it plays no such role.

Choosing not to forgive does not necessitate being consumed by hatred and anger. One can behave peacefully and support reconciliation between Hutus and Tutsis and principles of freedom, equality, and non-discrimination without forgiving genocide perpetrators.

A refusal to forgive can be a powerful moral affirmation of the need for perpetrators to express true remorse, repent, and devote themselves to restorative justice to help genocide survivors rebuild their lives.

Even then, some survivors may choose not to forgive and this is their right, not something to be judged pejoratively.

The dogmatic insistence that survivors forgive undermines their freedom of conscience, creates tremendous social pressure on them which only adds to their own considerable psychological burdens as a result of surviving genocide, and is insensitive in the extreme by refusing to acknowledge that many genocide survivors do not even feel that it is in their power to forgive. This is because when perpetrators of genocide murdered their parents, siblings, relatives, friends, neighbors and other fellow Rwandans in those very acts they negated the possibility of being forgiven by the individuals who they attacked and whose lives they destroyed.

Many genocide survivors consequently do not believe they have the right or capacity to forgive for crimes committed not directly against them.

Instead of focusing on how survivors of genocide ought to forgive it would be far more conducive to promoting peace and reconciliation in Rwanda and genuine post-genocide justice if greater emphasis was placed on the necessity of genocide perpetrators to repent.

Article First appeared in the Huffington Post.

Noam Schimmel, Ph.D., is the Associate Professor of Ethics and International Affairs at The George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs.

Can Genocide Survivors Forgive the Perpetrators?

Reconciliation and forgiveness became a trending experiment used by the Government of Rwanda and some money-hungry NGOs since the end of the Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi. Soon, the neediest of the survivors became the mouses in the laboratory of forgiveness and reconciliation processes.

Today, no single month goes by without seeing the survivors being paraded hand in hand with their executioners, chanting forgiveness and reconciliation. Words cannot express a sense of indignation these practices arouse in me. Photos below appeared in the Rwandan government sponsored-newspaper, The New Times, recently.

survivor_stephanie_ukubereyimfura_holds_elysee_uzabakirihos_hand

Survivor Stephanie_ukubereyimfura_holds genocide convict Uzabakiriho’s_hand. Photo/The New Times

Genocide perpetrators_with the genocide survivors holding their_backs_as_they ask for forgiveness in Bugesera. August 21, 2018. Photo: Kelly_Rwampera/The New Times

A couple of questions remains unanswered.

Economically disadvantaged survivors in rural areas are exclusively the only ones participating in this forgiveness-reconciliation drama. Why is that?

Is it even possible to forgive the mass murderers Hutu who committed Genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda? If so, who is well-suited to forgive?

While the answers to the questions above may vary from a person to another, one thing seems obvious to me.

The only well-suited person to forgive is the victim who was mercilessly killed. Since the victim is no longer in the world of the living then, the chance for the perpetrator to seek forgiveness is futile. Therefore, my question to those survivors who claim to forgive: Who are you to forgive on behalf of the dead? In what capacity?
Going against this basic logic is not only disrespectful to our beloved ones we lost, but it is also a grave insult to them.

Albert.

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