Giving reconciliation a kick start

The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) has come up with a programme to help in the reconciliation process.
Former prisoners in blue compete against the community (Photo/C.Kwizera)
Former prisoners in blue compete against the community (Photo/C.Kwizera)

The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) has come up with a programme to help in the reconciliation process.

“We went all around the country holding talks with the former prisoners who are now doing works for the general interest and very many of them were raising the same issue, the issue was none but lack of communication and trust between them and the people in the communities where they are doing the work,” says Jean Baptiste Habyarimana, the president of NURC.

Genocidaires and survivors were working together but not actually reconciling, NURC discovered.

“After seeing the need for this kind of interaction, we came up with the idea of holding the football matches where the TIG members would be playing against the community members with whom they do the developmental work,” declares Fatuma Ndanginza, the executive secretary of the NURC.

She notes that it is through football matches that people can get the chance to fully interact with one another.

The aim was to bring together these two kinds of people so they could ask one another for forgiveness and to also create a sense of trust.

TIG was set up so that genocide criminals after admitting and feeling sorry for their acts would have to serve one half of the sentence given to them in jail and the other half would be spent doing the works for general interest.

So the commission saw that despite the fact that these people had felt sorry for their deeds, they had not got any chance to ask for forgiveness the Rwandese society and the genocide survivors in general. Football was to be a platform for doing it as it is going to be a countrywide activity.

At the beginning of this month the programme kicked off in the Northern Province in Gicumbi. 

A football match took place between the residents of Kigabiro village district and the TIG members. Kigabiro had won by two goals to one.

The cup was handed to the winners by the Ndanginza who thanked all the participants for the good match. The TIG team was given a ball as gift for being second.

In her remarks at the event, the executive secretary asked the TIG members to do away with any genocide ideology and put their hands to good use like developing their country.

There was a small get together after the match at which residents and the TIG members talk, sang songs which called for unity and reconciliation and danced together.

Ends

ADVERTISEMENT