Local Government minister Francis Kaboneka has urged persons required to pay reparations to survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi to fulfill their end of the bargain. Kaboneka was addressing thousands at Ntarama memorial site in Bugesera District on Sunday during the third day of the national commemoration week.
The Ministers call is a reminder that the total healing of survivors is still far from being achieved, if perpetrators are deliberately refusing to pay as a sign of showing that they are remorseful for their acts.
Perpetrators who are intentionally refusing to pay their reparations are only fuelling the pain of survivors. It stifles the healing process for the survivors, and defeats the whole purpose of the unity and reconciliation efforts.
That twenty three years later, there are people reluctant to pay reparations, is a sign that genocide denial and ideology is still within our midst. It is disturbing that some people have deliberately refused to pay reparations to survivors. This is another form of genocide denial and undermining of the unity and reconciliation achievements registered over the last two decades. It is the responsibility of every Rwandan to ensure that such people are held accountable within their respective communities.
Paying reparations is a symbol that the perpetrators are remorseful and regret what they did. It is not an equivalent of compensation of what survivors lost. No compensation can equate to what survivors went through or lost. Worse, still reparations cannot heal the wounds and psychological trauma that survivors are still grappling with todate.
According to documents from the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, at least 8,445 cases adjudicated by Gacaca courts have not been executed, in terms of paying reparations to the victims. This state of affairs should not be allowed to continue. The defaulters should be given a deadline to pay up the reparations.