“Consciousness is the biggest mystery. It may be the largest outstanding obstacle in our quest for a scientific understanding of the universe. Even in the science of the mind, much progress has been made. Recent work in cognitive science and neuroscience is leading us to a better understanding of human behaviour and of the processes that drive it. Consciousness, however, is as perplexing as it ever was. It still seems utterly mysterious that the causation of behaviour should be accompanied by a conscious inner life”, says David Chalmers in his book, The Conscious Mind.
Some of our people are failing to have their consciousness guided by morals to prefer right over wrong; that is why survivors are still being killed.
This is the greatest shame and challenge of our time –the unconsciousness mind.
Murders of Genocide survivors in the Southern Province of Rwanda have been making headlines since the forces of liberation stopped the Genocide.
The Southern Province brings together large parts of the former provinces of Butare, Gitarama and Gikongoro. The region is generally composed of eight districts, namely: Gisagara, Huye, Kamonyi, Muhanga, Nyamagabe, Nyanza, Nyaruguru and Ruhango.
These districts have been notorious as far as killing genocide survivors is concerned, with Kamonyi coming on top of the list.
Some of the killings are done in order to hide evidence against the perpetrators of the 1994 Tutsi Genocide. When Gacaca courts started, more evidence was found, as the courts are more people-centered compared to the usual formal ones.
So, even criminals who wanted to hide the reality of their actions in the Genocide simply could not make it.
The few survivors, old and young, maimed and diseased, gave testimonies that pinned many culprits. When they became a big threat to the genocide suspects, all efforts were made to eliminate them.
A number of strategies and techniques reminiscent of the ones they used in the 1994 Tutsi Genocide were used to finish off the survivors in cold blood.
One thing that makes the southern region the most notorious is the degree at which its people’s mind was poisoned by the genocide ideology-masters.
A poisoned mind is never conscious and stops working as it should. It is automated and works like a machine. Machines don’t think, but only operate according to how they are programmed.
People who were involved in the Genocide had been for ages taught hatred. This hatred still lingers in their minds.
It would be wrong to say that the education to reverse their thinking after the Genocide is enough to have them behave with the desired conscience.
The southern region takes the lead, mainly because it could have got an overdose of the poison. Three assumptions can be given a thought; one, it is where the history of bad leadership started.
Two: the region boasts of the so-called historical intellectual town of Butare. It could have used its intellectual capacity to deeply ingrain hatred in the communities. Three, the fact that the region was part of the infamous Zone Turquoise (or neighboured it), speaks a lot.
It is not easy to programme the human mind the way you want, without using methods that demand a strong intellectual background. The said assumptions may be right or wrong, but I am sure that they contain our challenge today.
We have a big task to ‘depoison’ the mind of our people. There are so many succeeding initiatives like; The Unity and Reconciliation Committee, Justice, government and the people of Rwanda in general, but we still face skirmishes here and there.
There is, however, no reason for despair, as we have achieved a lot in reconciling Rwandans in a short period. What I can only remind Rwandans is that we cannot afford to relax.
Every effort must be done to save the lives of the few genocide survivors we have. It should not be solely the obligation of security institutions and the government, but every individual in the country must show cause.
When we gather our efforts in teaching, tracing and punishing the criminals severely, we shall end the ugly scenarios we are evidencing today.
In fact, whoever fails to give a hand in some way is an accomplice and should be known for what they are. You are either with us or with the killers.
It is on record that most survivors are killed when neighbours are either watching or listening. We cannot allow such poisoned minds to continue spreading their poison to others, let alone rule our society!