Lawmakers urge greater efforts to tame genocide ideology

Legislators have urged more efforts in fighting genocide denial and trivialisation through use of social media, development of research as well as preservation of genocide memorial sites and facts.

They made the observation on Thursday, October 15, during a plenary sitting of both chambers of parliament in which the National Commission for the Fight against the Genocide (CNLG) was presenting its 2019/2020 activity report.  

 

Yvonne Mutakwasuku, vice president of CNLG told the legislators that genocide ideology cases were monitored during the 26th commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi between April and July 2020.

 

She said 246 genocide ideology crimes were recorded during the commemoration period and were looked into by the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB), which later submitted them to the prosecution.

 

Parliamentarians said that the figures imply that the genocide ideology cases are on the rise compared to statistics for the last three years.

“We are using social media including Facebook and Twitter to deal with the problem,” she said calling for parliamentary support on disseminating the facts about the history of Rwanda including the genocide against the Tutsi.

On the major challenges that CNLG is facing, she cited the genocide ideology, denial and trivialisation disseminated by use of social media.

Another challenge, she said, is that genocide history is not taught effectively in schools because teachers lack the required knowledge and that “there are those who have not yet accepted to tell the truth about the genocide against the Tutsi.”

MP John Ruku-Rwabyoma said that the worst news is that in the diaspora and on social media, cases of genocide ideology are much more than those identified in Rwanda and submitted to RIB.

“Wherever a person who denies or trivialise the genocide against the Tutsi is, they have be held accountable for that,” he said pointing out that CNLG should take the lead in such a task.

He recommended CNLG’s partnership with some universities in foreign countries in line with tackling the genocide and its ideology, but called for more networks.

MP Safari Begumisa wanted to know special strategies against people who deny or minimise the genocide against the Tutsi.

“For instance, there is Jambo Asbl, an association of young people who are bent on promoting the genocide crimes that their parents committed. Surprisingly, some of those young people claim that they are genocide survivors,” he said wanting to know measures to address such a problem.

“The response to that would be to give counterargument to their claims so that people around the world know that those young people are wrong,” he said.

In line with preventing the genocide and its ideology, Mutakwasuku observed that 282 talks were delivered in secondary schools, 12 in prisons, and two in rehabilitation centres.

Meanwhile, Mutakwasuku said that CNLG carried out among other activities, the search for and decent burial of remains of genocide victims.

“We found 808 remains of genocide victims that were retrieved from different areas in districts,” she said.

In addition, she said, 23,715 remains of genocide victims were relocated from poorly constructed memorial sites (so that they receive a decent burial).

entirenganya@newtimesrwanda.com

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