Rwanda shared with the World how it sought own solutions to address the healing of wounds brought about by its tragic history and graduating into a state of unity and reconciliation among Rwandans.
The sharing of experiences and best practices manifested yesterday during the meeting of more than 100 psychiatrists from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Belgium, US, and Germany meeting in Kigali for a two-day deliberation on strengthening psychiatric initiatives.
The meeting was organized by Never Again Rwanda in collaboration with Interpeace organization under the auspices of Swedish embassy in Rwanda.
During his presentation, Dr. Alfred Ndahiro, President Paul Kagame’s media adviser and author of various books on Rwanda reconciliation and genocide has talked about Rwanda’s choice of putting home-grown traditional solutions in the employ to build foundations of long-lasting reconciliation platforms.
Reports from the National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG) indicate that Rwandans have united at 92.5% though genocide wounds remain a great challenge of unity and reconciliation.
Dr Ndahiro recalled 15 examples including 15 Gacaca courts, Abunzi (community mediators) and Girinka among other initiatives extracted from Rwanda’s history and moral values in addressing the consequences of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and rebuilding the country in general.
He said that based on four pillars of the government which are; justice, citizens’ welfare, good governance and economic development, Rwanda managed to seek own solutions which also contributed in psychological wounds healing and reconciliation as they are all-inclusive. Dr Ndahiro said that Gacaca courts helped to solve genocide cases within a short period and grant justice to genocide survivors while uniting Rwandans.
“Over a 10 year period, more than 12,000 Gacaca courts solved 1.9 million genocide cases across the country. Experts say it would take 100 years to try the cases.
Gacaca helped to heal wounds and attaining reconciliation through establishing a way of letting genocide survivors know circumstances under which their beloved ones died, allowed genocide perpetrators to confess and request for forgiveness before the public and affected families,” he said.
“Healing wounds and attaining reconciliation is a process.That is why is has not yet reached all people; but our own solutions implemented by our government aim at contributing towards that goal,” he added.
Dr Ndahiro concluded his presentation emphasizing that Rwanda’s policy to seek and implement home grown solutions for particular problems has inspired Rwandans to determine their future.
- Dr. Alfred Ndahiro