“When someone else speaks to you, what they say and how they say it creates either positive energy or the opposite. Also, when you speak to yourself, you are the one who chooses whether the energy will be positive or negative. Be totally resolved to consistently create positive energy.”- Excerpt from the book ‘Peace of Mind.’
The above statement applies for every Rwandan irrespective of their position. Everyday decisions are made which directly or indirectly affect the lives of thousands.
For this reason, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda should think twice before they decide on whether they really want to transfer the genocide archives to Kenya.
The fact that they are already thinking about not transferring the 15 year old archives to Rwanda is questionable and is a negative energy that is not welcome.
These genocide archives are testimonies, stories and confessions relating to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
They are concrete facts that directly caused the loss of over a million lives in a period of only 100 days.
Playing a cat and mouse game is not amusing at this particular time when Rwanda as a nation is healing from its broken past.
The big question is, of all countries why Kenya? Probably behind their conclaves, the ‘big’ judges in ICTR believe that Kenya is the safest country to keep the archives.
Whatever the ICTR’s reasons are, there wasn’t Genocide in Kenya and they are not the ones who need the resource.
Looking back to the ‘Conference on Challenging Impunity’ that was held here in Kigali on November 7th – 8th 2006, the ICTR in collaboration with the Centre for Conflict Management (CCM) of the National University of Rwanda, ICTR decided to be transparent in their dealings.
Prosecutor Hassan Bubaccar Jallow, during that meeting in his own words affirmed that, “…we would like to see at the end of the ICTR mandate an arrangement which would facilitate the access of the Rwandan people to the extensive archives of the Tribunal.’’
Amidst all this affirmation, he said that Rwanda continued to be the Tribunal’s main focus for the transfer of cases for trial. This initiative by the ICTR was welcomed by Rwandans as they saw it fit as a step towards achieving their goals and objectives of promoting unity in the country.
After such positive statements, for ICTR to go back on their word and decide to transfer Rwanda’s Genocide archives to Kenya, is a very poor decision. Rwandans hope that it was just a slip of the tongue on the part of ICTR, and that they will soon revise this decision.
The archives need to be transferred to Rwanda where they are most needed for the healing of a nation- this is the positive energy that Rwanda needs.
The author is a journalist , The New Times