In a statement issued by the August house, on Monday, welcoming the decision made by its Belgian counterpart to establish a committee to look into the Belgium’s history with its former colonies namely Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Burundi, the government expressed concerns over the inclusion of Laure Nkundakozera Uwase.
Uwase is a member of the Jambo Asbl, a Europe-based association which has been put on the spot for trivializing and denying the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi; the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide describes Jambo Asbl as a genocide denying association which was founded by youth who do not recognize the role of their parents and grandparents in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Moreover, Uwase is daughter of Anastase Nkundakozera, who was convicted by the Gacaca Courts for genocide crimes and her mother, Agnès Mukarugomwa, was a prominent MRND activist and is currently the director of Ikondera Libre, an internet-based media outlet which is known to openly negate the genocide.
The nomination of Uwase has led to criticism of the Belgian Parliament, especially by genocide survivors who feel she lacks the credentials to be part of the commission.
“The Parliament of Rwanda welcomes the initiative of the House of Representatives of the Kingdom of Belgium to establish a Special Parliamentary Commission to examine Belgium’s colonial past in Congo, Rwanda and Burundi, its consequences and the responses to be made thereto,” a statement issued by the Parliament of Rwanda reads in part.
Parliament said that the initiative underscores the importance of historical clarity and collective memory as prerequisites for forging a healthy future of mutual benefit and respect.
“However, the Parliament of Rwanda is concerned by the inclusion in the Group of Experts, that will assist the Special Commission, of a known genocide denier whose known “expertise” is the distortion of the recent history of Rwanda, and who belongs to an organisation whose mission is the denial and revision of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi,” it added
“The Parliament of Rwanda wishes to inform the Belgian House of Representatives that in view of the circumstances above, it already has reservations about the outcome of the work of the Special Commission,” it further said.
The Parliament of Rwanda reiterated its willingness to further strengthen the existing relations with the Belgian House of Representatives.