We need moral rehabilitation, trust in post-Genocide Rwanda

The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi has severely affected various Rwandan institutions and their respective agents. In general, all institutions of the Rwandan social fabric abdicated, to varying degrees, on their core mission of contributing to the cohesion and harmony of Rwandan society.

The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi has severely affected various Rwandan institutions and their respective agents.

In general, all institutions of the  Rwandan social fabric abdicated, to varying degrees, on their core mission of  contributing to the cohesion and harmony of Rwandan society.

At the end of the day, all those institutions found themselves torn and disoriented by the tragedy of the Genocide.

Indeed, as the executors of the 1994 Genocide were primarily Rwandan citizens against their compatriots, which makes it very easy to understand that inside the same institutions we find both the executioners and victims of the Genocide.

Thus, to resume  their daily and normal operations in the aftermath of the Genocide, all these institutions not only did they need to be rehabilitated physically, but also morally so that they could regain confidence to operate normally.

Obviously, the physical rehabilitation of the institutions that quickly started has made impressive gains, 21 years down the road, to the amazement of many, the world over.

However, it would be appropriate to ask whether a real self-assessment (examination) of their various agents in all institutions was done, in order to be able to regain the confidence of the people.

If so, was it conducted in a genuine manner and efficiently – at least for all the major dominant institutions in society, as they exist elsewhere in the world?

Considering various field data, reports and other evidences from diverse backgrounds, we can say that in all public institutions, for various reasons, moral rehabilitation and the winning back of the confidence of the population are on good trajectory.

However, the country and its public institutions must always continue to feed the torch in order to be able to hold on and operate effectively and efficiently.

Indeed, for many people, the Genocide and its aftermath have caused a huge disappointment and a great distrust, especially towards public institutions and their agents.

As illustration of that high performance of current public institutions, we can take the example  of the present security institutions (army and police).

Thanks to their skills and especially  their morality, the fiduciary capital achieved by agents of both these security organs, in so short  a time, is at a remarkably high level, not only in Rwanda, but also abroad (due to their different missions of peacekeeping).

On the contrary, we must not forget that in 1994, during the Genocide, the army and the police (gendarmerie) of the then regime were the pivots of  these massacres.

On the other hand, if we look at the institutions that could be classified under the banner of civil society, the situation appears to be often relatively confusing.

While state institutions, overall, assumed their responsibility in the tragedy and are striving, through various mechanisms, to address its many consequences, in the civil society, at least in some institutions, seems to reign a kind of fuzziness or a real confusion, probably premeditated and likely maintained, about the Genocide in Rwanda.

Then in such cryptic situation to regain the trust of the population and still enjoy the moral authority necessary to accomplish their mission becomes a rather random task.

Again, to illustrate,  we can cite as example, religious institutions. In general, the position of certain religious denominations of post-genocide Rwanda is either strange, undecipherable or downright negative.

There are a lot of agents in religious institutions, even in responsible positions (Bishops, Priests, Pastors, Sheikhs, Sisters, Brothers, etc.) that have been or are either publicly and regularly blamed for their complicity in Genocide or already convicted by courts (or whose trials are ongoing or awaited) whose cases  have not apparently worried their respective institutions, while their conduct during Genocide was not in accordance with the requirements of their mission.

An attitude of this kind can only create a climate of distrust on the side of the population vis-à-vis these institutions. The evil (even more, genocide as a crime against humanity) is to condemn and to fight and not to cover or to tolerate. 

People involved in genocide no longer have the moral authority to continue their mission normally. Anyway, agents or institutions that do not inspire confidence are, in one way or another, sooner or later, doomed to fail.
 
The writer is a lecturer at the Institute of Agriculture, Technology, and Education of Kibungo (Inatek).

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