Tutsi genocide survivors want reconciliation, we love the country of our birth, of our memories of growing.
There is diaspora of Tutsi since 1994, even before, but now many Tutsi refugees can’t go home to Rwanda because of danger from extremist Hutu and sometimes even our own government.
Reconciliation would be good, but there cant be reconciliation without justice.
Some government ministers and senior public servants have been bought to community justice (Gacaca) and some to official trial, but many genocide planners and killers are still in positions of authority.
All survivors know who these people are, The Government knows who they are. If the Government wants justice for those who experienced but survived the genocide, then the Government must act to bring the guilty to justice.
Survivors know that all of the 75000 prisoners who were put in jail cant stay there for ever. Penalties delivered by Gacaca or courts must reflect the crimes. Serious crimes should not just get community work
Most Tutsi’s houses were destroyed, money and possessions stolen from banks as well as houses. Compensation for property and money damaged and stolen and compensation for relatives killed and for injuries suffered needs to be addressed.
Rwanda is not a rich country and that makes payment of the true cost of compensation hard or often impossible.
Not being a rich country also makes it hard for the 67% of genocide widows who are now infected with HIV/AIDS through rape during the genocide. These widows don’t get priority for ARV treatment because it is not seen to be fair to the 13% of HIV infected in the broader community.
The children orphaned in the genocide (100,000 households are headed by someone under 18 year olds) do not receive government funded secondary education. As their parents have been murdered, there is no one to pay the cost of education.
This generation of orphans left by the 1994 genocide will grow up to be uneducated and destined to be manual workers whose future generations are likely to be trapped in a poverty cycle.
Why shouldn’t the guilty be responsible to pay for education and drugs for those who still carry the burden of the 1994 crimes.
Many Tutsis are refugees because they didn’t agree with the Kagame Government’s handling of the post genocide time.
All survivors are very grateful that the RPF ended the Habyarimana era of hatred.
It is time for amnesty for the victims, the survivors along with the release of 70,000 prisoners who admitted their guilt.
Reconciliation has to come from all parties. The oppressor, the oppressed and the Government.
The survivors who are now giving strength and prosperity to many other host countries should be free to walk the streets of their hometowns without fear of danger or arrest.
They should be welcomed by their Government and feel the same government is working to restore all that can be restored of the things lost through the genocide. Not only was property lost but also dignity and self respect.
Most genocide survivors owe their lives to Hutu people who hid them, fed them and kept them informed to help avoid danger from militia and killing parties. Romero Dallaire, head of the UN mission at the time of the genocide believes that the Devil had his head for 100 days in 1994. We know that God’s will is for a reconciled and restored Rwanda.
The Hutus who were married to or children of murdered Tutsis mustn’t be forgotten. More innocent victims of this political hatred and manipulation.
With the will of the survivors, enough of the Hutu population and the government, a new history can be written.
1994 is 11 years past now, but commitment, hope and hard work can restore Rwanda and the genocide survivors want to be a part of that.