A local non-government organisation, Global Eco-village Rwanda (GER), has launched an initiative to promote reconciliation between survivors of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi and perpetrators.
The organisation, which outlined new efforts to furthering reconciliation among Rwandans, will first put focus in Bugesera, Gasabo and Kicukiro districts.
The organisation’s executive director, Innocent Musore, said the aim is together to help lay strategies to maintain peaceful co-existence among Rwandans.
The selected districts have their own exclusive story about the Genocide, Musore said.
He added that later the initiative could be extended to other areas of the country depending on results from the three areas since reconciliation is a long process.
Musore was speaking at a forum that brought together Genocide perpetrators, survivors, and some people who have showed unmatched deeds in promoting national unity and reconciliation, locally known as “Abarinzi b’igihango.”
The meeting took place in Kicukiro District this week.
Musore said the NGO is working with experts from London-based organisation called Force for Change (CFOR) to tap into their knowledge about reconciliation and healing in society.
“They make their contributions with experience through teaching people how to overcome bitterness brought by the Genocide. It is not a new programme in the country, we are building on other initiatives that are already operating,’’ he said.
The forum, characterised by open testimonies, observed that unity and reconciliation is necessary for the healing process of Genocide wounds.
The director of peace building and conflict resolution at the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, Laurence Mukayiranga, said the process of healing people’s hearts is a good initiative worth supporting to achieve peace and reconciliation in society.
Jean-Claude Audergon, the co- founder of Force for Change, said they were around to share with people their knowledge and that the main idea is not only about reconciliation but prevention of future violence.
“To do that, people have to address emotional issues that are not usually addressed. Usually difficult emotions are left under the table and then when you are weak, angry or in a bad mood and somebody manipulates you, it comes up,” he said.
Arlene Audergon, also from Force for Change, expressed support to other ongoing efforts in the country to reconcile Rwandans.
The Rwanda Reconciliation Barometer put the country’s reconciliation status at 92.5 per cent in 2015, up from 82.3 per cent five years earlier.
Force For Change operates with the aim of healing people’s hearts through carrying out different trainings about reconciliation and peacemaking in society.
Their partnership with Global Eco-Village Rwanda is aimed at promoting unity in society, fighting genocide ideology as well as building families, according to the officials.