RE: “Genocide fugitive extradited from Germany, to be charged next week” (The New Times, August 19).
Interesting that Dr Peter Woeste, the German ambassador in Kigali, now – it seems – wants to question the decision of his country’s courts to extradite Mr. Twagiramungu to have his day in court regarding well-founded suspicions of his engaging in mass murder as part of his involvement in the Genocide against the Tutsi.
The envoy’s intemperate public intervention seems to point to the inability of some in the West to recognise a unique feature of Rwanda’s post-Genocide reconciliation; the ability to convince Genocide survivors and the kin of victims to forgive the killers of their loved ones and their murderous hunters of yester-year in order to give a chance for our society to heal its torn fabric and re-unite.
If Rwandans were able, without anybody else’s prompting, to overlook and forgive (while never forgetting) crimes of a magnitude most people from other countries can hardly imagine, where does the ambassador get the gall to lecture us on avoiding seeking revenge in lieu of justice?
For the ambassador’s edification, and I am surprised it is necessary as I would have expected it to be an essential part of his pre-assignment briefing, Rwanda’s post-Genocide reconciliation and unity are founded on a collective decision by Rwandans to forgive all but the worst of the genocidaires –and to guarantee even these a fair trial – as a basis for a reconciled people.
Needless to say, this should amply demonstrate to the ambassador’s satisfaction the very opposite of a people hell-bent on revenge. We should not need to continually have to explain this basic feature of post-Genocide Rwanda to people we assume are sufficiently knowledgeably and appropriately equipped for their functions in our country, beyond the shallow and fallacious fictions generated by agenda-driven organizations of the likes of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and their associates in the Western media and think-tank world.
Frankly speaking, we expect better informed utterances rather than the channelling of such activist drivel from ambassadors and other Rwanda-based diplomatic agents.