As survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi demand compensation, as emerged in this week’s conference organised by the National Commission against Genocide, one can only wonder what kind of modus operandi to be adopted to carry out this exercise.
Firstly, the genocide was planned and executed by the government that was in power then, which would automatically render any succeeding government , including the current one liable, just like all other misfortunes it inherited from the past rogue regime.
Then, there’s the issue of individuals, some very wealthy, others ordinary peasants, who directly participated in the killings.
In addition to these, there are foreign parties responsible for sponsoring and propping up an extremist government that was planning to annihilate a section of its population.
Even more complicate, is the question other parties, considered multilateral, particularly the United Nations, that stood by as the slaughter continued unchecked.
All these parties bear varying degrees of responsibility and should, therefore, play a part in one way or another, in finding a solution this problem.
There’s no doubt that the call for compensation from the survivors of the Genocide is a justified one.
However, on the part of the government and particularly the challenges it inherited after this tragedy, one of its success stories has been to bring hope and a sense of being to the shattered lives of the survivors.
Within its limited resource base, government has consistently committed 5 percent of its national budget to the Genocide survivors fund (FARG).
Probably, to strengthen this fund, there should be a strategy to bring more stakeholders, especially members of the international community, on board.
Otherwise, coming up with a price tag for human life, let alone for the one million people who died, is simply impossible.