Rwf5 billion to complete Gacaca digital archiving

With a fraction of Gacaca archives already digitised, it will require about Rwf5.5 billion to complete digitalisation of some 60 million copies of the archives, officials at the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) said on Thursday.
Gacaca hearing in session. / File
Gacaca hearing in session. / File

With a fraction of Gacaca archives already digitised, it will require about Rwf5.5 billion to complete digitalisation of some 60 million copies of the archives, officials at the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) said on Thursday.

The information was shared in Parliament by the commission’s chairperson, Dr John Rutayisire, while presenting its 2015/16 annual report and action plans for the current Financial Year 2016/17.

 

Rutayisire said about 2.4 million copies from the Gacaca archives have been digitalised so far and indicated that the current funding for the project is not enough with the government having allocated Rwf420 million for it in the current fiscal year.

 

“Working with its partners, the commission will continue to advocate for the availability of enough funds to be used in the conservation of Gacaca archives and other activities,” he said.

 

The digitisation of Gacaca archives consists of gathering all Gacaca court case files and other supportive materials and keeping them in soft copies to ensure safe storage and easy access.

The documents have been secured in boxes that are currently stored at the premises of the Rwanda National Police headquarters in Kacyiru.

Different activities have been carried out in line with conserving the archives, including a feasibility study for their conservation, securing premises for the Gacaca documentation centre, and scanning some of the documents.

Toward world heritage sites

While continuing the digitalisation work for Gacaca archives features on the list of action plans for CNLG in the current fiscal year, the body will also continue to protect Genocide memorial sites across the country.

It will also fight Genocide deniers through dissemination of information about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and continue the process to push for four main Genocide memorial sites in Rwanda to become part of the world heritage.

The sites include Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Gisozi, Ntarama Genocide site in Bugesera District, Murambi memorial centre in Nyamagabe District, and Bisesero Genocide Memorial in Karongi District.

Adopting the sites as a world heritage will be examined at a meeting of the UN cultural agency, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organisation (UNESCO) in February 2018.

CNLG officials say the sites have been temporarily added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites but their complete addition to the list requires a lot of documentation, which has to be gathered by CNLG and handed to UNESCO with details describing the Genocide sites and the history behind their existence.

Another area of research for CNLG in the current fiscal year is the issue of trauma for Genocide survivors and other Rwandans because its cases are still around in the country, especially during the Genocide commemoration period every year.

Although figures from the Ministry of Health indicate that about 1,700 cases of trauma were registered every year in 2015 and 2016, CNLG officials said they want to conduct through research to better understand the science of post-Genocide trauma and the kind of people it affects most.

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