IBUKA, the national umbrella association of 15 survivor’s organisations in Rwanda, in partnership with Survivors Fund (SURF) and REDRESS, have submitted a discussion paper to the President of the Republic of Rwanda which sets out recommendations for reparation for survivors of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi.
The discussion paper explores four potential mechanisms that could be used to deliver comprehensive reparations for survivors, in the form of rehabilitation, restitution and compensation for both moral and material damage they suffered during the genocide.
Our principal recommendation is an appeal to the Government of Rwanda to consider establishing a Task Force on Reparation for Rwanda (TFRR) to address some of the outstanding issues regarding reparation for survivors through a formal process of research and consultation. Based on our research, some of the outstanding issues that could be explored further includes the types of harm suffered by survivors, registering past awards of compensation and restitution made by national courts and gacaca that have yet to be enforced, as well as assessing the needs and perspectives of survivors in regards to reparation.
The TFRR could thereby assist in developing a consensus among stakeholders and determine the way forward in providing reparation to survivors through the establishment of a reparation programme.
Survivors Fund (SURF) and our partner organisations recognise and commend the efforts of the Government of Rwanda to provide assistance to survivors, and hold perpetrators accountable, over the past 18 years. Progressing with the establishment of an adequate reparation programme would be a critical step in its determination to secure restorative justice for survivors. It could also contribute to further reconciliation between survivors and perpetrators of the genocide, for whom the issue of reparation is a continuing point of contention as long as it remains unaddressed.
We recognise the many challenges and complexities that surround the issue of reparation. However, we hope that the discussion paper will serve as a starting point in honoring the rights and needs of survivors to reparation.