Compensation cases

Gacaca case files
Gacaca case files

Over 30,000 cases need execution to compensate genocide survivors

By Michel Nkurunziza, The New Times

There is need for renewed efforts to compensate genocide survivors whose properties were damaged or plundered during 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, Ibuka – the umbrella organisation of genocide survivors’ associations – is advocating.

The compensation will be successful by increasing efforts in executing over 30,000 cases involving genocide survivors’ properties plundered across the country during 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, Ibuka says.

The advocacy was reiterated while reacting to recommendations from research findings on 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Kicukiro district that was presented on April 16.

The research which analyzed the situation from 1959, 1963, 1973, 1990 and 1994 was carried out by a team of researchers led by Prof. Deo Mboninkebe.

It indicates how genocide against the Tutsi was planned, cases of persecuting Tutsi since 1959, 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and post-genocide effects.

Based on the survivors testimonies in the research, the study has recommended more efforts to document genocide history, help survivors cope with trauma, treat survivors’ diseases caused by genocide,  promote employment and improve shelter for genocide as well as devising new strategies to compel genocide perpetrators  to compensate genocide survivors over properties they damaged or plundered.

Figures show that there is 1. 3 million cases judged by Gacaca courts up to 2012 when they closed.

However, Naphtal Ahishakiye, the Executive Secretary of Ibuka said that as of November last year, “there were over 36,000 cases involving survivors’ properties that are yet to be executed countrywide”.

“Of these, 2,960 cases have no single challenge that can prevent their execution. Other cases are challenged by situation while genocide perpetrators who damaged properties are not available, others have died, others are fugitive, others are not seen anywhere while others have no financial capacity to compensate,” he said.

He said that there is need for discussions to see how genocide survivors can be compensated.

“The big challenge that should be immediately addressed is about those who are financially capable and are not compensating survivors yet they have plundered and damaged their properties. We request concerned institutions to put efforts recovering the properties. If the perpetrators do not want to pay willingly, there should be enforcement,” he said.

According to the researcher Prof. Deo Mboninkebe, genocide has had effects on Kicukiro district as anywhere else in the country but insisted that not compensating genocide survivors whose properties were damaged could undermine reconciliation efforts.

Genocide history in Kicukiro

The research shows the post-genocide effects has root from even many years before 1994 genocide against the Tutsi where Tutsi were discriminated in different institutions including expelling Tutsi children from schools during both president Kayibanda and Habyarimana regime.

Mboninkebe’s research shows that many Tutsi were persecuted in 1959 and were also killed in Kicukiro in 1963, the persecution that continued until 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

“During the Inyenzi attacks, residents in Kicukiro district were mobilized to kill Tutsi accusing them of working with Inyenzi. Tutsi were taken and killed at Nyabarongo River Bridge. Many Tutsi fled to other areas and others were exiled. The killings had been ordered by president Kayibanda,” he explained.

Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994 in Kicukiro district was unique, he said, considering that the district harbored genocide masterminds including former President Juvenal Habyarimana, Mathieu Ngirumpatse, the former President of former ruling party MRND, the Chairman of the CDR, Martin Bucyana, Seraphin Twahirwa the former employee of the Ministry of Public Service (MINITRAPE) among many others who led Interahamwe in ravaging areas such as Gatenga, former Kigali Governor Colonel Tharcisse Renzaho who would preside meetings preparing genocide among many others.

The district was also harboring Special Forces and presidential guards who also monitored the killings.

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