Genocide survivors should be given fundamental right to live

Rwanda like most African countries is undergoing a remarkable change in many fields. Though not immune to some challenges, Rwanda has also managed to establish good governance and democracy.

Rwanda like most African countries is undergoing a remarkable change in many fields. Though not immune to some challenges, Rwanda has also managed to establish good governance and democracy.

Surprisingly though, many foreign nations are borrowing a leaf from the post genocide Rwanda. This is definitely a symbol of success that the country can boast for. The whole world had correctly realized that human dignity had lost meaning during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Challenges however, are still enormous as survivours are still being pursued by those who never accomplished their grave mission. The aftermath of a horrific crime against humanity cannot easily die down; widows and orphans are many and need help.

David MacRae, who headed a Delegation of the European Commission which was in Rwanda in September 2007 said:

“Rwanda has experienced the worst not very long ago, today with you, it is experiencing the best”.

The ‘best’ which is even seen by the international community will receive more recognition if all Rwandans themselves first respect human dignity in full. We need to prepare a bright future by respect human rights.

Rwanda continues to have children who have experienced a difficult social back ground; as war orphans, poverty, diseases, and lack of foster families.

Giving such children a chance to live and helping other vulnerable groups of people, would be a serious step in fighting for human dignity.

Most children need adult mentors as witnessed in Ngoma Village, of the southern province that has about 167 genocide orphans living in child headed households.

Orphans, country wide face enormous problems that include preparing meals and school work at the same time. They lead a scaring solitude life.

“Every time we approach holidays I develop bad feelings about finding an empty and an insecure home”, said one of the 85 orphans at Gisimba memorial Orphanage in Nyamirambo.

At local level, more efforts are needed to identify standing issues affecting genocide survivours and other vulnerable groups. Survivours’ rights including the universal one, to live, must be respected.

What is encouraging however is that different organizations are addressing this issue with great zeal. This of course does not rule out the fact that there much to do in handling people who are still pursuing and killing survivours.

They must be dealt with, seriously. As remarked by the president of IBUKA association during the function to mark the fourteenth anniversary of the Tutsi Genocide; the unspeakable behaviour requires much attention and measures to protect Tutsi survivours so that they may remain with a pride to be Rwandans.

“Fourteen years after this painful history, every mourning period has tried to change the lives of many Rwandans. Most Rwandans unlike in the early post genocide period have started striving to achieve lasting improvements in the quality of life they were deprived of, during the bad regimes that promoted the genocide ideology”, IBUKA president.

Rwanda, now seen as a visionary country and having tied with many nations and organizations, brings hope in uniting citizens, adding meaning and value to their lives.

It has streamlined the justice system to accommodate the needs of perpetrators and those of the survivours at the same time.

Indeed, many survivours, Rwandans in general and the international community believe that justice together with the process of unity and reconciliation will prolong the cause for respecting human dignity.

The international community will have no option but to cooperate and help Rwanda in its development programs, as stated in the Rwandan Millennium Development Goals.

International and national humanitarian organizations that have always promoted the rights and interests of the world’s vulnerable groups, including children and widows, also need to be relied on, in promoting advocacy for their community centered development activities.

The possibility to have all people respecting each other and giving chance for positive changes is still being hampered by the genocide ideology.

Many people have always asked themselves why, one, after being pardoned for the worst crimes against humanity, still goes on to kill the same person who has undertaken this merciful gesture.

Despite all this, Rwanda remains optimistic that at some point, all we be alright and the society will be free from genocide related crimes.


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