GICUMBI - Residents of Mutete Sector in Gicumbi District, yesterday, acclaimed the current cooperation between former Genocide perpetrators and survivors.
Speaking to The New Times, the residents, who included both Genocide survivors and perpetrators, attributed their cordial relationship to government’s efforts towards reconciliation.
According to the local authorities, over 2,000 Tutsis were killed in the Sector during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis.
The area is said to have been the most affected in the district as it was home to many Tutsis.
“There was so much hatred after the Genocide, but now there is a tremendous change. For example, we work together, especially when we meet in cooperatives, and this has boosted unity,” said Jeannette Uwitonze, a survivor.
Emerita Nyirarukundo, the representative of the Genocide survivors in the area, said they have been undergoing counselling through a project known as Kubana Mumahoro (living together in peace), an initiative aimed at promoting unity and reconciliation.
“The perpetrators built us four houses, although they are not fully completed, but this is evidence of reconciliation amongst us,” said Nyirarukundo, adding that some perpetrators have already compensated for the property they destroyed or took during the Genocide.
One of the perpetrators, Therese Habimana, who asked for forgiveness from the victims, said: “We admit that we wronged our fellow brothers and sisters, therefore it is our responsibility to come to them and ask for forgiveness as we unite”.