Minister Bizimana cautions Genocide perpetrators against insincere apologies

By Esther Muhozi
On 11 April 2024 at 02:34

The Minister of National Unity and Civic Engagement, Dr. Bizimana Jean Damascène, has reprimanded perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi for seeking insincere forgiveness.

During the 30th commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi held at the Kiziguro memorial in Gatsibo district on April 11, 2024, Minister Bizimana urged those who committed the genocide to use appropriate language when seeking forgiveness.

Minister Bizimana also advised genocide survivors to understand the gravity of the crime committed against them before offering forgiveness. He pointed out that some offer forgiveness without fully grasping this severity.

He said, "I have been following activities related to unity and reconciliation and find that those who admit their role in the genocide do not use language that reflects the gravity of their crime. Likewise, some survivors, in forgiving, do not comprehend the severity of the crime they are forgiving, which leads to further trauma and distress."

Minister Bizimana stated that it is inappropriate for someone who committed genocide to merely say, "I ask for forgiveness from those I wronged," because killing is not the only form of wronging , and lying is also considered a wronging.

As the Rwandan government continues to emphasize reconciliation efforts, Minister Bizimana explained that without using appropriate language, true reconciliation cannot be achieved.

He emphasized, "It is crucial to use accurate words because the crime of genocide is grave. Without the right words, reconciliation cannot be fully realized. It would be superficial. Let’s live in peace, strive to build our country for all, but let’s build it on truth. Truth is what will heal us."

A 2020 study by the then National Unity and Reconciliation Commission showed that reconciliation had reached 94.7%. Some of the factors hindering full reconciliation include the refusal to apologize by those who committed genocide, ignorance, and denial of the genocide.

Minister Bizimana has urged Genocide perpetrators to use accurate language when apologizing.