83% Rwandans believe genocide will never occur again –survey

Eighty-three per cent of Rwandans believe genocide will never occur again in the country, arguing that the underlying causes have been dealt with, a new report by the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission has said.
Survivors at Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre during a past commemoration event. The New Times/ File.
Survivors at Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre during a past commemoration event. The New Times/ File.

Eighty-three per cent of Rwandans believe genocide will never occur again in the country, arguing that the underlying causes have been dealt with, a new report by the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission has said.

The report, launched yesterday, was a qualitative assessment of the Reconciliation Barometer that was initiated by the commission in 2010.

The survey said the respondents based on the existing political will and strong commitment of the government to prevent genocide from happening again.

The survey, conducted by Illuminatio Consultancy and Training Centre, a local firm, shows that 87 per cent of the respondents agreed that major causes and issues related to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi had been addressed.

However, there is persistent fear of a recurrence of genocide, especially among the youth, where by 39.9 per cent believe that some Rwandans “would try to commit genocide again, given the opportunity,” the report says.

More than a million people lost their lives during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Bishop (Rtd) John Rucyahana, the president of NURC, said Rwandans should own the reconciliation process rather than waiting for foreigners to come and preach to them the gospel of peace.

He added that the foreigners could only help to the country reach its destiny.

“The 39.9 per cent is still a very big number, we are calling on all Rwandans to join hands and ensure genocide never happens in the country again,” said Bishop Rucyahana.

The other side

He said the study, dubbed “Understanding the past, political culture and economic security,” was aimed at helping Rwandans understand where the country was standing as far as unity and reconciliation is concerned.

Ezechiel Sentama, the leader of the team that conducted the study, said the 39.9 per cent is a huge figure given the disadvantages that come with divisions among people.

“The past is the teacher from which to learn. No one benefits from ethnic divisions,” Sentama said.

The report also says Rwanda offers equal opportunity to make a living from and to access public services and natural resources, besides government’s effort to curb the state of poverty, the gap between the rich and the poor remains high.

Respondents contend that there is trust between in the country and give credit to the educative and reconciliatory mechanisms that have been put in place by government.

They say political parties of today do not discriminate, thus uniting the citizens and making it hard to nature divisions among them.

Some 432 respondents were interviewed, including the elite, the youth, the ordinary people and Genocide survivors. They called for eradication of causes that trigger social divisions to enhance reconciliation.

Subscribe to The New Times E-Paper


You want to chat directly with us? Send us a message on WhatsApp at +250 788 310 999    

 

Follow The New Times on Google News