As part of the activities to celebrate the International Peace Day (IPD), the National University of Rwanda (NUR) yesterday organised and delivered a public lecture on peace.
The lecture that took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, focused on the role of NUR in peace education and post-genocide reconstruction, securing sustainable peace through home grown reconstruction strategies and reinforcing women’s contribution to peace and development in the great lakes region.
Speaking at the public lecture, Dr. Agee Mugabe Shyaka, an expert in Political Science, explained that although Rwanda has gone through a lot in the past, it has also tried to come up with lots of home-grown solutions that have played major roles in restoring and maintaining peace.
He mentioned some of the solutions as being the use of Transitional Justice which is the short term and often temporary judicial and non-judicial mechanisms and processes. Shyaka said that transitional justice aims at addressing and attempting to heal divisions that arise from human rights violations.
Some of the Transitional Justice tools he mentioned are the Gacaca courts, the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC), National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG) and said that all these have helped in the healing of the nation.
Gacaca has made it possible to judge hundreds of thousands responsible for Genocide in relatively short time, solving the problems of slow judicial practice, hence promoting peace and social cohesion.
According to Jean Bosco Habyarimana, who works with NUR’s Centre for Conflict Management (CCM), the University has played a big role in creating and maintaining peace since 1995.
“The National University was born in a very tense social and political climate, it was created a year after independence, a period marked by political and ethnic violence.
But since 1999, NUR created the CCM which is both a catalyst to inspire research policies, and an opportunity to generate native knowledge on deep causes of conflicts, and potential strategies for the development of sustainable peace in Rwanda and the region,” noted Habyarimana.
The centre has also organised a number of symposia, seminars, national workshops, international conferences, community outreach programmes and published many articles and books that have inspired mechanisms of handling post Genocide critical issues and post conflict management.