EDITORIAL: The post-Genocide generation should be taught that the crime of the century was not a myth

The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) has begun documenting acts of Genocide according to the administrative divisions of that time.

Before the Genocide, Rwanda was divided into 12 prefectures; Butare, Byumba, Cyangugu, Gikongoro, Gisenyi, Gitarama, Kibungo, Kibuye, Kigali City, Kigali Ngali, Ruhengeri and Umutara.

During the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, no corner of the country was spared so CNLG will not lack detailed information. Although most of the main actors were identified and indicted, there is no centralised historical data base on the crime.

So CNLG’s endeavour should be welcomed and given all the help necessary. It can begin by combing the Gacaca archives and interviewing Genocide perpetrators though chances of hitting a brick wall with the latter are very high.

Genocide brought the worst in Rwandans and it will take more than civic initiatives such as Ndi Umunyarwanda, Itorero or attending Mutobo rehabilitating centre to completely cleanse the hearts.

So there is need to assess the success rate of the above programmes, and if necessary, go back to the drawing board because the Genocide ideology took long to germinate and grow that to some it became part of their DNA and cannot be eradicated in one single Ndi Umunyarwanda session.

Since there is no template to work from, CNLG will have to improvise to find out how those government programmes are coping. But definitely documenting the Genocide against the Tutsi is a priority step since nearly half the population was born after 1994 or were too young to really understand its depth.