Ibuka Roots for Trust Funds to Support Genocide Survivors.
By Jane Nabukera, News of Rwanda.
Ibuka, the umbrella of Genocide survivors associations is engaging government of Rwanda and the United Nations (UN) to establish a fund that will support survivors’ projects.
The umbrella suggests the reputation of the initiative to be an International Trust Fund for Survivors. Its baseline capitals should be raised from the genocide perpetrators assets and government coffers.
The United Nations and countries that failed to protect civilians during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda, including France should also pledge funds to support the cause of survivors who lost not only their relatives, but also their properties.
On June 23, while attending the 22nd commemoration of Genocide against Tutsi in Huye district, southern province, Professor Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu, the president of Ibuka told mourners, “UN has recognized the Genocide against Tutsi; it should therefore support the fund.”
He added, “France should also put in money.”
On June 23, 1994 when the pressure of Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) Inkotanyi against the genocidal government intensified, France hastened its soldiers under Operation Turquoise.
Its objective included to facilitate the exit of the government to the then Zaïre, and to exterminate the Tutsi all along their way.
This would explain the reason why Butare prefecture is leading the top five prefectures where many Tutsi were exterminated.
The 2004 National census of the Genocide victims indicate that, of the 1,074,017 Tutsi who were killed during the Genocide, 220,996 victims representing 20.7% were from Butare prefecture.
Gitarama and Gikongoro also on the road to Kamembe-an exit to Bukavu are also among the top five with 12.1% and 10.3% respectively.
Ibuka also proposes that properties of the Genocide perpetrators should also be sold to support the fund.
“Like the houses of Felicien Kabuga-they should be sold,” said Dusingizemungu.
Still on the run, Kabuga, a city mogul during the Genocide is alleged to have provided important financial and material support to the government, to execute the Genocide.
Survivors say the fund should not be taken as a favor to them, but “its part of the reparation which is legitimate,” he said.
Currently, Rwanda supports the vulnerable genocide survivors in areas of education, medication, shelter and project financing under the Genocide Survivors’ Fund (FARG in French acronyms).
The country spent over Rwf 190 billion from 1998 to 2015 to support Genocide survivors under FARG.
However, Ibuka wants the International Trust Fund for Survivors to benefit all survivors whether they are poor or wealth through application for development projects.
Dusingizemungu said that consultations have started, and they will push to have positive outcome.
Minister of Justice, Johnston Busingye told News of Rwanda, “Ibuka consults us on many things. As on that fund, I will have to listen to their proposal before taking any position whatsoever.”