The apology was sought on 1st August 2019 in Rukumberi sector, Ngoma district during a unity and reconciliation gathering.
Unity and reconciliation is among priorities spotlighted by the Government of Rwanda following the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi where genocide perpetrators plead guilty and apologize in public.
During the event held recently, 14 genocide convicts apologized in public.
Emmanuel Habimana, 62, was handed life sentence. He was the head of Interahamwe in Sake of Ngoma district.
Habimana felt ashamed and decided to seek pardon since 2000.
“I plead guilty of genocide crime. I felt ashamed for it, apologized and mobilized fellows to do so as a contribution to desisting denials of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi,” he said.
Stephanie Muyoboke, a genocide survivor said she always grieved before knowing whereabouts killed relatives were dumped.
She explained that her heart was smoothened since learnt about the circumstances of her parents’ death and pardoned.
Muyoboke requested convicts who apologized to make a step further mobilizing other inmates to tell the truth and reveal where genocide victims were dumped to be accorded decent burial.
Johnson Mugaga, the head of unity and national identity and public awareness at the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) thanked participants of the event and inmates who made a step to revealing the truth.
“Apologizing is about bravery rooted on humiliation while forgiving is bravery emanating from kindness,” he said.
Mugaga urged all churches, Rwanda Correctional Service among other stakeholders involved in the promotion of unity and reconciliation to sensitize inmates on seeking an apology and telling the truth as a part of foundations building Rwandan society.
So far, 6000 genocide convicts have sent apology letters while 1800 of them were connected to offended survivors and forgiven.
Findings in the RGB Citizen Report Card 2018 indicate that Rwandans’ unity and reconciliation efforts are paying off at a rate of 92.5%.