Bishop Rucyahana John, NURC President explained that the partnership with GFI will serve as a channel to spread ‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’ which is considered as a tool to sustain cohesion among Rwandans.
In 2013, ‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’ was initiated to build a national identity based on trust and dignity. It aims to strengthen unity and reconciliation among Rwandans by providing a forum for people to talk about the causes and consequences of the genocide as well as what it means to be Rwandan.
“The partnership with GFI will allow us to inculcate to the Rwandan diaspora living in Zambia, the values of unity and reconciliation which have been a core pillar to the reconstruction of our country after the 1994 genocide against Tutsi.”
Although the partnership will not contribute to bringing to justice, genocide fugitives and deniers hiding in Zambia, teachings that will be given are expected to drive the Rwandan diaspora in Zambia to denounce ‘génocidaires’.
Rucyahana said that some Rwandans living in the diaspora don’t know anything about the history of the genocide and hence don’t understand the gravity of genocide crimes.
“genocide implies devastating consequences including inter-generational trauma, children made orphans, families eroded by poverty and so on. We expect the teachings that will be spread to bring to light the truth about genocide and its effects and hopefully also reveal genocide perpetrators who are still hiding from justice in foreign countries.”
The partnership will be a compliment to Rwanda-based Prison Fellowship which was founded in 1995. Prison Fellowship focuses on instilling action-based practical reconciliation among Rwandans directly or indirectly affected by the 1994 genocide against Tutsi as well as other crimes.
Currently, the organization is making gap-filling interventions in the justice system which is very fundamental to enhance forgiveness and reconciliation among the affected communities.
GFI teachings are expected to also lead genocide perpetrators to come forth, admit their crimes and accepted to face justice for their acts. “If genocide convicts in Rwanda are capable of admitting their crimes after years of denial, we expect the same result in Zambia as well.”
Dr. Joshua H.K Banda, GFI Managing Director said that even though GFI won’t arrest genocide perpetrators, teaching the truth about the genocide is a contribution to bringing genocide criminals to justice.
So far, 8 genocide criminals were brought to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) with the collaboration of Zambia.
GFI is the first organization to partner with NURC in teaching the history of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi. Since its creation, five years ago, it has contributed to spreading values of unity and reconciliation in Zambia as a nation that has suffered from years of ethnic tensions.
In the past, Rwanda and Zambia have partnered in different projects including trade, investment, mining and tourism.
On March 27th, 2015, RwandAir, the flag carrier airline of Rwanda launched Kigali-Lusaka flights going 6 flights per week.