Despite continued challenges, Rwanda has bounced back

Editor, RE: “Talking about Genocide is a remedy to revisionism” (The New Times, May 25).
Some of the foreign delegates who were in Kigali for the just-concluded World Economic Forum on Africa during a tour of the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. (File)
Some of the foreign delegates who were in Kigali for the just-concluded World Economic Forum on Africa during a tour of the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. (File)

Editor,

RE: “Talking about Genocide is a remedy to revisionism” (The New Times, May 25).

The Genocide against the Tutsi is so complex I am afraid even some Rwandans themselves can’t easily comprehend its full extent. A reasonable amount of justice has been served by the Gacaca system (which tried over 1,200,000 ordinary people), ICTR (which tried key masterminds), and also the conventional judicial system.

There are of course those who have managed to escape the abovementioned justice processes, about 600 persons are wanted; there are also those extremists who deny the Genocide against the Tutsi; the Government of Rwanda is fully committed to continuing to serve justice and reparations and to engage other countries to that effect. Many countries (except maybe France) are willing to cooperate and some have initiated their own court proceedings, sentenced some to life imprisonment or even sent them to Rwanda for conviction.

Every year, we reserve three months to remember our parents, families and friends killed during the Genocide, this is done at the national level, as well as at the provincial, district and sector levels, and at the UN and in every country where we have an embassy or where there is a sizable community of Rwandans who can organise themselves to hold commemoration events; all over the world, where possible, local officials are invited join with us in mourning; some foreign governments have even allowed us to erect Genocide memorials or monuments of remembrance in their countries.

In brief, a lot has been accomplished in just 22 years.

Mariguerite

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You have done an excellent job capturing and summarizing what Rwanda has already done and achieved in order for us to come to terms with the Genocide, while also acknowledging the fact that these efforts have still failed to fully exorcise the demons that continue to assail us as a result of that cataclysm.

I suspect the extent of the psychological damage inflicted on our society in its entirety (including to the survivors, the perpetrators and even the bystanders) by such an experience is such that it can never entirely heal.

All we can really do is akin to applying a palliative to a chronic sickness to help us cope and get on with our lives as best as we can.

In view of what the Rwandan society was faced with from immediately after the Genocide against the Tutsi, I believe we have done very well indeed and have built the foundation for a better Rwanda, one at peace with herself.

Mwene Kalinda

 

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