University of Rwanda’s School of Medicine and Pharmacy, the Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Hamburg in Germany, Rwanda National Police and the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) have committed to continue their collaboration in Genocide proofs conservation as well as forensic medicine.
This was announced at the sixth interdisciplinary forensic summer school going on in Kigali under the theme “Knowledge Transfer for Forensic Science Development.”
It runs from July 10 to 13. They agreed on an expanded partnership, especially in forensic archeology, anthropology and victim identification.
Main topics of discussion include forensic anthropological examination and DNA analysis in the identification of human remains in Rwanda, use of limestone as a quick solution for preserving human remains, the importance of forensic examination in solving crimes, and medico-legal post-mortem examination.
Prof. Dr Klaus Püschel, Director of the Institute of Legal Medicine at University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, said CNLG was an essential partner in preservation of human remains.
He explained that forensic medicine plays a crucial role not only in preservation of human remains but also in shaping peaceful societies.
Dr Charles Murigande, the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Institutional Development at the University of Rwanda (UR), said that government has made forensic medicine a priority in order to support Rwanda’s justice to solve various crimes committed.
He said the partnership is important in dealing with crimes related to domestic violence, and to support CNLG in its efforts to identify and preserve remains of Genocide victims.
Speaking at the event, Dr Diogène Bideri, the Principal Legal Advisor, CNLG, said better preservation of genocide proofs and other artifacts is a crucial tool in fighting denial of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The partnership, he said, has started off with the conservation of remains of Genocide victims at Murambi memorial site.
A similar partnership with the University of Pennsylvania in the United States started for conservation of clothes for victims killed at Nyamata Genocide memorial, he added.
Institute of Legal Medicine in Kigali Prof. Dr Klaus added: ‘‘We signed a new memorandum of understanding for the exchange of academics, PhD students and post-docs. We plan together to build up an Institute of Legal Medicine in Kigali according to international standards and based on intensive cooperation of the Rwandan university, justice, police, and the CNLG.”
He observed that forensic medicine serves as an important factor of internal security and plays an important role in society.
It is expected that the participants will travel to Murambi memorial site to examine the state of the remains of Genocide victims and offer advice on their preservation.
The Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994 claimed over 1,000,000 lives in just 100 days.
In order to help keep alive the memory of the victims, the Government says it is committed to decent burial of the victims and to preserve intangible proof of the Genocide.
The partnership will ensure transfer of knowledge and skills locally in the area of conservation of Genocide victims’ remains and other Genocide artifacts, according to officials.