KIGALI - The UN expert on minority issues, Gay McDougall, has hailed Rwanda’s transformation success and said that the country has taken great steps towards healing, development and growth, which other societies can learn from.
“Rwanda has many lessons to teach the world, no longer just about the horrors of genocide, but now also about the capacity and courage of the people to recover. Furthermore the power of truth and justice and the ability of divided societies to overcome their differences,” she said.
McDougall, who first visited Rwanda in 1994 shortly after the Genocide, has been in the country to look into the situation of different minorities.
“I find a very different Rwanda,” she said, adding that Rwanda has become a country of peace and increasing opportunity.
She also said that an important part of the country’s difficult healing process has been achieved through dialogue and the courage to come together.
The UN expert, who traveled through the country during her eight-day visit, spoke to a number of communities like Historically Marginalised Groups who identify themselves as Batwa.
McDougall said that the government has helped improve the livelihoods of this group.
The Minister of Justice, Tharcisse Karugarama, said that the government welcomed the conclusion of the expert’s mission.
“We are satisfied with the way Ms McDougall’s mission was conducted and are pleased that she had the opportunity to meet with and interview numerous and diverse individuals and groups,” Karugarama said.
The Minister noted that the government had opened all avenues of information gathering and facilitated an independent visit across the country to enable Ms McDougall make an objective assessment, reiterating Rwanda’s willingness to remain open to similar missions.
“In a recent meeting on the review of Human Rights in Geneva, we extended an invitation to any person or group interested in objectively assessing the current reality in Rwanda. Our government is committed to correcting historical prejudices and ensuring the human rights of all citizens,” Karugarama added.
“I look forward to a continuing and constructive dialogue with the Government of Rwanda and I stand ready to support the positive initiatives of the Government,” McDougall said at the conclusion of her visit.