The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) has called on the public to embrace the culture of reading, especially genocide-related publications, to fight against genocide ideology and denial.
CNLG executive secretary Jean-Damascène Bizimana made the call during the launch of three books written by the Commission and author Jean Ndorimana.
CNLG launched two books; Testimonies and needs of Genocide survivors, and Ribara Uwariraye, while Jean Ndorimana’s book is titled Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda compared to the Genocide of Jews and Armenians.
The launch, in Kigali last week, brought together academic scholars, senators, survivors associations, among others.
“Testimonies and needs of Genocide survivors” book documents testimonies of genocide survivors, their needs as well as the effects of Gacaca courts.
The entire purpose of the book was to obtain first-hand accounts of how Genocide survivors interacted with justice, and to what extent their lives were affected by the justice process following the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, and their needs today.
Their current needs, according to the book include economic security and income generating projects, need for restitution of property destroyed during the Genocide, need for recovery and befitting burial of relatives’ remains as well as mental and physical health care.
In the book of “Ribara Uwariraye,” the Commission records testimonies of 46 Genocide survivors. The book is divided into two parts. The first part bears the account of 20 survivors, including 11 females, who were between seven and 12 years during the Genocide, while the second part records accounts of 26 survivors, including 12 females, who were above 13 during the Genocide.
Ndorimana’s book, “Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda compared to the Genocide of Jews and the Armenians,” shows the similarities of three genocides: genocide against Jews, Armenians and Tutsi.
Bizimana faulted Rwandans for not reading their country’s history, saying publications help people to fight against genocide ideology and denial.
He said publications show proof of what happened and provide a legacy to the next generation.
“We still have few ardent readers in the country. Only few people come to our libraries to read history. There is need for partnership between all institutions to cultivate a reading culture,” Bizimana said.
To tackle the issue of poor reading culture, the commission started distributing books to schools to encourage young Rwandans to read.