KIGALI - Preparations are underway to set up a Genocide Research Centre library where all information on Genocide will be accessed both by local and international student researchers.
This was revealed Tuesday by the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight Against the Genocide (CNLG), Jean de Dieu Mucyo.
In the same spirit, according to Mucyo, the government intends to send a formal request to the United Nations to keep custody of the archives of the International Criminal Court of Rwanda (ICTR) when it winds up its work end of 2009.
Custody of the ICTR archives has been a matter of contention between the government and the UN. The ICTR is set to close after the completion of trials on appeal by 2010.
Mucyo also added that consultations to hire internationally acclaimed conservationists to conserve the remains of genocide victims and all genocide memorabilia are underway with an unnamed Mexican Company lined to do the work to keep the Genocide remains intact for at least 250 years.
“We have realised that 1994 Genocide evidence especially the remains of the victims, is deteriorating at a very fast rate and there is need to act quickly and stop this waste of what could be vital history for us and the future generations” said Mucyo
Meanwhile Mucyo said that preparations for the 15th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi to be held in April this year will soon begin.
During the interview, Mucyo said that plans are underway to sensitise people on Genocide and its effects ahead of the April 7 event.
“We intend to create awareness to people at grass root levels in all sectors because Genocide started at the grassroots and we realised the need to involve people at that particular level,” revealed Mucyo.
The commission was formed last year by the government as a permanent institutional framework for the exchange of ideas on genocide, its consequences and the strategies for its prevention and eradication.
Mucyo revealed that since October, ministerial meetings have discussed how the commission would go about its work and one of the decisions was that Rwandans be sensitised on where the country is, 15 years after the Genocide that claimed over 1 million people and the way forward as regards ensuring that this does not happen again.
Some of the activities include Radio talk shows, community debates and also the search for the remains of the missing victims to accord them a decent burial and constructing more memorial sites especially upcountry.
He said that the commission has also organised international conferences ahead of the commemoration, which will bring together Rwandans within and outside Rwanda as well as the international community to discuss Genocide and its impact.
Mucyo is a former Justice Minister who also headed the commission that compiled the famous report that contains the evidence attesting to France’s role in the Genocide.
He said that the Rwandan Diaspora is highly involved in this sensitisation initiative, saying that they could play an important role in confronting Genocide revisionists who are very active in several countries especially in Europe.
“We are very aware of the activities of revisionists, the reason we are involving the Rwandan Diaspora is because they live in countries where these people operate from but we are also aware that if we are to tackle the problem, we start from its roots, which are the people at the grassroots,” he said. He added that Churches, Schools and the Civil Society will play an important role in this campaign as well as the media.
“Genocide ideology is our strongest challenge at the moment but we have also developed means to cope with it and wipe it out completely and in this we have church leaders, school heads and heads of Civil Society Organisations (CSO) as our partners because they interact directly with the people,” added Mucyo.
He also said that there is a law in place that not only punishes perpetrators of the Genocide ideology but also the heads of the particular organisations found to be harbouring the Genocide ideology.
This year’s event will be held at Nyanza Genocide Memorial Site in Kicukiro District that is home to over 10,000 victims of the Genocide and all of them suffered their death after being abandoned by UN troops.
The theme for this year is ‘let’s keep the memory of the genocide against Tutsis by fighting revisionism and rebuilding the country.’