Edouard Bamporiki has been hailed for his role in the fight against genocide ideology through his book, “My Son, It Is A Long Story: Reflections of Genocide Perpetrators.”
The book was launched on Sunday in Kigali in an event that was graced by First Lady Jeannette Kagame, Sports and Culture minister Julienne Uwacu, as well as hundreds of people.
The launch was organised by Art for Peace Rwanda, an organisation founded by the legislator, in partnership with the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG).
The book tells of 67 stories and testimonies gathered from Genocide perpetrators, now serving their jail sentences in different correctional facilities in the country, 12 of whom are women.
The stories have also been translated in Kinyarwanda in the book “Mitingi Jenosideri; Imbundo, Imbarutso y’Imbunda Yarimbuye Imbaga.”
Speaking at the event, Dr Jean-Damascene Bizimana, the executive secretary of CNLG, said the book is a major contribution to the struggle against genocide ideology and hailed the author for bringing a new perspective in the literature of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
“Since the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, we have had more than 40 books published about the Genocide, including those on Genocide denial. This book is one of the few books that tells the real stories from the perspective of the perpetrators who committed the atrocities.
“By getting the perpetrators to share their testimonies, it is enough proof that we have made a huge step in fighting Genocide ideology, especially by countering those that perpetuate Genocide denial. This book will have a big contribution in that regard,” he said.
Giving firsthand account
Bizimana encouraged the author to translate the book into other languages for a wider reach and to also ensure accessibility of the book, to increase knowledge about the Genocide.
According to Bamporiki, the stories were collected and the book written to give first-hand information to the future generations about the history of the country.
He said the most surprising part in the book are stories of the women who committed atrocities and are serving their sentences together with their husbands.
“I did not think women could be so brutal because we know women to be kindhearted people, and their stories about their contribution in the mass killings were so touching,” Bamporiki said.
“The book also aims at bringing about healing and these stories will reach the masses in their original form to help the youth who were not present at the time to learn more about their country’s history. I hope that it can encourage Rwandans to write their own stories.”
Rev. Antoine Rutayisire, who was among the book’s reviewers, encouraged more literature on the effects of the Genocide and revealed that there were many stories out there, including those by the Diaspora that need to be told.
Bamporiki said he started collecting the stories in 2010.
The book is currently available on Amazon.