The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) Dr. Jean Damascene Bizimana has said that concerted efforts between the general public and security organs will effectively deal with genocide ideology and other related crimes.
He also acknowledged the existing efforts to fight negative ideologies and bringing to justice perpetrators responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Dr. Bizimana was speaking to police officers on April 12 at the Rwanda National Police (RNP) headquarters, during the force's commemoration event.
He observed that genocide ideology roots as way back as 1957 where politicians, scholar and the media brainwashed Rwandans and instilled the spirit of hatred.
“It took such a long time to build hatred in people which culminated into the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and this is why 22 years on, we are still fighting it but the strategy of overcoming it is through continuously educating people about its effects and we put efforts together in fighting it,” said Dr. Bizimana.
He noted that understanding what genocide ideology is, how it manifests and laws punishing it – be it in Rwanda or abroad, will greatly add value to fighting it.
“The way dossiers of suspects are packaged also facilitates the courts in prosecuting these cases; you also need to have the skills to deal with such cases and bring genocide fugitive who are still at large to book,” he said.
He also hinted on the fact that cases of genocide ideology have reduced over time but noted that there are cases communication either through media, contain elements of genocide ideology.
“As part of our collective efforts, media owners and security organs should come up with a strategy of dealing with such cases or even filtering those comments so that they don’t poison the public.”
He went on the hail police cooperation with sister police forces in the region and beyond in tracking genocide fugitives.
The element of foreign cooperation, he said, is very crucial in ensuring that genocide ideology that is spread by those that participated in the genocide does not spill into Rwanda.
The event was also attended by Dr. Dusingizemungu, the president of IBUKA, an umbrella associations of genocide survivors, who called for continual amendment of laws punishing genocide ideology.
“The more we come up with strategies to counter genocide ideology, the deniers also manufacture new means to minimize the genocide; this way we can only beat them if we continuously review our laws depending on the trends and approaches to identify and track down such people,” Dr. Dusingizemungu said.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge or Administration and Personnel, Juvenal Marizamunda also reminded the officers to always exhaust all angles in investigations and uniform approach in handling cases of genocide ideology.
"We are the people that handle cases of genocide denial and ideology, we must know how best we should handle them and file detailed dossiers to facilitate prosecution,” DIGP Marizamunda said.
He said that RNP will continue to employ appropriate measures to fight genocide ideology through continued training to equip the officers with the trending required skills in detection and investigations, among others.