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Rwanda accuses opposition politician of belittling 1994 genocide

Written by: George Kalisa
Wednesday, July 17th, 2019, 9:39
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Rwanda’s State Minister in charge of East African Community Amb. Olivier Nduhungirehe and National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) Chief Dr. Jean Damascene Bizimana have said that Diane Rwigara’s claims in an open letter to Rwandan President Paul Kagame that the 1994 genocide survivors are targeted for murder are unfounded and sheer lies.

 

The senior government officials have said that her statements are tantamount to trivializing the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

 

Rwigara wrote an open letter to President Kagame accusing his government of putting the preservation of memory of the 1994 genocide above the plight of genocide survivors whom she said were being killed and live miserable lives.

 

“Your Excellency, your government rightly seems committed to retaining the searing memory of our loved ones killed during the Genocide. There is no doubt we should do this. But why isn’t the same level of respect shown the living?” she said in the letter.

 

“Mwiseneza was a survivor and a friend of mine. He was killed shortly after talking to me about the unrest at the Mageragere Penitentiary early last month which left many inmates in critical condition,” said Rwigara during a press conference he held on Tuesday while explaining the content of the letter to President Kagame.

 

“Mwiseneza is not the only genocide survivor to have met an unfortunate end at the hands of security organs. Many survivors have lost their lives at an alarming rate,” she added.

 

Nduhungirehe accuses Rwigara of reviving ethnic divisions.

 

Not only is @ShimaRwigara trivializing the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi but also she is bringing back ethnic divisions through the back door,” tweeted Olivier Nduhungirehe.

 

 “She claims to speak for "survivors", categorizing others as "survivors whose families fled before 1994" and "non-survivors" Nduhungirehe added.

 

On his part Dr. Bizimana said that Rwigara’s statements translate into denial which is punishable by the law.

 

“There is denial in her statements because under the 2013 law punishing the crime of genocide ideology and other related crimes which was amended in 2018, spreading falsehoods and unfounded allegations on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and disparaging facts to mislead the public is tantamount to denial,” Dr. Bizimana told local media in a late Tuesday reaction.

 

“From her statements, she is not only trivializing the genocide, but she is also engaged in defamatory acts which are publishable by the law,” he added.

 

Rwigara,37, is a genocide survivor, former presidential candidate and a women's rights activist who leads the People Salvation Movement. High Court acquitted her last December after spending close to a year in prison.

 

The State had charged Rwigara of public insurrection and forgery of election documents while sectarianism had been leveled against her mother, Adeline Rwigara.

 

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