CNLG to undertake study on trauma among Genocide survivors

The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) is set to conduct a study to deeply examine the current extent of trauma among Genocide survivors 23 years after the Genocide against the Tutsi.
A guide at Kigali Memorial Centre explains to visitors about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.  (File)
A guide at Kigali Memorial Centre explains to visitors about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. (File)

The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) is set to  conduct a study to deeply examine the current extent of trauma among Genocide survivors 23 years after the Genocide against the Tutsi.

The exercise will be one of the main activities that will be carried out by CNLG in the next eight months during the current financial year, officials said on Monday.

CNLG officials revealed the plan while presenting to parliament the commission report for the past financial year 2016/17 and plan of action for the current financial year 2017/18.

Dr Emmanuel Havugimana, chairperson of CNLG board, told legislators that some of the survivors are still struggling with both physical and psychological scars from the Genocide and the extent of the problem should be assessed.

“We want to be closer to people who are often traumatised and identify their major challenges. The study should be completed by the end of 2018. Those who will conduct the study will explain the nature of the survivors’ current problems and how to solve them. The goal is to be able to help them overcome trauma,” he said.

Last year, MPs urged the commission to keep its focus on fighting trauma among Genocide survivors and preserving Genocide memorial sites, finding proper homes and legal aid for them, as well as social support.

On Monday, the legislators repeated the call, with many of them requesting the commission to keep focus on the most vulnerable among the survivors.

They include those who were raped during the Genocide and those who continue to show signs of trauma more than two decades after the atrocities.

MP Constance Mukayuhi Rwaka advocated for the women who are still painfully struggling with trauma as a result of rape during the Genocide and said that support to them should be sustained.

“We need to consider whether there is a way of constantly supporting these women so they can continue to recover from the pain they went through,” she said.

MP Henriette Mukamurangwa Sebera said that Genocide survivors’ challenges need special attention given the nature of what they went through.

“Why is it that some people don’t care about the issue of trauma for survivors? Why aren’t their challenges treated in a special way? I think we need to continue supporting them so they can cope with the trauma they were inflicted on by the Genocide,” she said.

MP John Ruku-Rwabyoma said that efforts to find bodies of Genocide victims should be maintained and perpetrators encouraged to testify about what happened in the Genocide.

Among other major activities that CNLG plans to carry out in the current financial year include the completion of registering four Genocide memorials of Nyamata, Murambi, Bisesero and Kigali on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The body will also focus on refurbishing Genocide,  memorials to preserve the history that they host and continue the digitalisation of Gacaca courts’ archives.

 

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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