New study to identify more Genocide rescuers in offing

A thorough study will soon be undertaken across the country to identify people who went out of their way to save Tutsi during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Such rescuers are referred to as Abarinzi b’Igihango (Protectors of the Pact).

Ibuka, the umbrella organisation of Genocide survivors associations, and the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) will jointly carry out the exercise.

It is hoped that the move will help enhance unity and reconciliation gains.

A pilot study carried out between 2009 and 2010 identified 271 people who hid Tutsi during the Genocide, according to Ibuka.

The survey was conducted in two sectors of each of the 30 districts of the country – meaning 60 sectors out of 416.

The exercise seeks to document and preserve the truth about the Genocide against the Tutsi as well as foster unity and reconciliation, said Ibuka president Prof. Jean-Pierre Dusingizemungu.

‘The rescuers are people we value and respect a lot,” he told Saturday Times. “Their actions were noble; they put their lives on the line to save fellow humans.”

Draphrose Mukarutamu, a Genocide survivor and chairperson of Duhozanye, an association of Genocide survivors in Gisagara District, told this paper that recognising rescuers was a noble cause.

Duhozanye comprises of over 3,000 members consisting of widows and orphans.

NURC executive secretary Fidèle Ndayisaba said: “We will conduct thorough research through talking to people and organisations so that all those who rescued others are dully recognised.” 

Such people, he said, should be role models for particularly the young generations.


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