The long awaited study of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) on the nature and extent of Genocide ideology in the region is expected to commence in the next financial year, according to a member of the regional assembly.
Patricia Hajabakiga, chairperson of EALA Rwanda Chapter, said the three-month study is expected to begin in the first quarter of the next financial year which begins in July.
In the past, the lawmaker told The New Times, the assembly had passed resolutions that condemn Genocide, its ideology and denial.
The last such resolution was passed early last year when they decided to conduct a study to assess the extent of Genocide ideology and denial in all the five EAC Partner States.
“The research findings and its recommendations will be tabled in the House for debate and adoption,” said Hajabakiga.
Last year, the resolution was moved by MP Abubakr Ogle (Kenya), and unanimously supported by the House.
It gave a green light to the EALA Commission to create a team of seven members which would, among others, look at the security ramifications of Genocide ideology and attempts to deny or minimize its scale and severity.
The legislative arm of the East African Community early last year took a big step towards battling Genocide ideology and lawmakers believe it can do even better.
Rwandan members of EALA now in the country for a three-week sensitization drive on the bloc’s integration agenda and to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, speak well of the Assembly’s move to thoroughly examine the nature and extent of genocide ideology in the region.
“Since 2008 after Rwanda’s lawmakers joined EALA, the Assembly has always, in April of each year, participated in the Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi and has taken time to visit memorial sites in the country,” said Hajabakiga.
Martin Ngoga said: “Once we have that study concluded, we shall have evidence-based reasons to take other actions that possibly may lead to legislation at regional level on how to deal with Genocide ideology and how to deal with fugitives that could be running around in our region and beyond”.
Ngoga, a member of the EALA Commission – the principal committee, which manages the affairs of the Assembly – was categorical when underlining that: “Today, the world has fugitives as well as perpetrators of the Genocide simply because there was Genocide in one of the EAC partner states”.
He added that the 1994 Genocide happened because, in the region, and beyond, there was a collective failure to deal with the early warnings; the spread of the ideology that was going on for a very long time until it culminated into the Genocide.
“We see the same situation happening now. There is existence of a genocidal ideology in our region that we are not tackling with the robustness and vigor as we should.
“We need a general understanding as a region, that the presence of fugitives is a collective issue, a general problem that concerns all of us and, not a Rwandan problem alone,” he noted.
In the Assembly, the motion to consider how to mitigate Genocide ideology and denial was initially mooted way back in 2013 but it was delayed and never put on the order paper for debate.
Now, once the upcoming study is accomplished, it is hoped that the House will ably give recommendations to the EAC Summit on how Genocide and its ideology can best be fought.
Twenty two years ago, more than one million Tutsi were savagely and systematically exterminated in 100 days, meaning 10,000 people were killed every single day.
Many perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide continue to roam freely in the region and beyond, despite the continued quest that all be taken into custody and charged in courts of law.