IBUKA fears Genocide survivors might live with trauma much longer
Written by: Steven Nsamaza
Sunday, April 8th, 2018, 9:49
Even after 24 year since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi happened in Rwanda revelations by IBUKA [an umbrella association for Genocide survivors] show that survivors still suffer from a cross-section of its consequences and their impact on the society is not about to end.
The Executive Secretary of IBUKA, Naphtal Ahishakiye says that the prevalence of trauma is still high and unveiled research findings that show that some children born after 1994 have been found with signs of trauma.
“The consequences of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi have not ceded even after twenty-four years in spite of the unfailing government support survivors receive,” said Ahishakiye during a recent exclusive interview with this reporter.
Ahishakiye said that the challenges range from Genocide ideology, unfinished cases, Genocide fugitives to trauma. He adds that some of the effects to the survivors may last a life time.
IBUKA as a body says has to keep on pushing through increased advocacy, remember and rebuild to overcome the various adverse effects of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
The 24th Genocide commemoration activities will continue to improve the different programmes that have been put in place to reinforce commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
At the national level commemoration started April7 at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, Gisozi while Rwandans will continue to hold week- long commemoration activities at the village level. But, IBUKA’s commemoration activities as usual take place for 100 days which stretch from April7 to July4.
During the commemoration period different activities are conducted countrywide including discussions on different themes. IBUKA Executive Secretary notes that each year the activities are improved to suit other programmes for instance this year new guidelines have been issued that will ensure that commemoration activities last for a short time. A prayer has replaced a Mass and long sermons that used to make commemoration activities take long.
Other preparations for Kwibuka24 have been put in place, on the health front 3,500 counselors of people emotional and trauma related cases that arise during the commemoration period.
Remains of the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that are currently in bad conditions will be relocated and accorded a decent burial in areas like Gisagara, Ruhango, Karongi, Nyamasheke, Rusizi and the City of Kigali.
Apart from the discussions organised at the village level, IBUKA will hold a vigil on April 11 in remembrance of victims of 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi at Nyanza in Kicikiro, Kiziguro and Ndera, all to be held on the same day.
Ahishakiye observes that though Rwanda has made remarkable progress in rebuilding society, fostering peace and reconciliation challenges persist. He emphatically notes that the manifestations of genocide ideology and targeting of Genocide survivors after 24 years since the Genocide was stopped should attract concern.
He urges courts to speed up cases that have lingered on for years, especially on reparations awarded to survivors.
Genocide fugitives also still pose major challenge, IBUKA has been advocating so that the perpetrators are brought to book mostly those still wondering in other countries. Combined with those that have escaped punishment pose more harm to the next generation and a hindrance to unity and reconciliation.