Following an emotional ceremony, at which the IBUKA President, Vice-President of the Rwanda Senate, and the SURF Director laid wreaths, the focus of the speeches was very much on the issue of reparation for survivors.
The IBUKA President, Professor Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu, spoke passionately on the importance of compensation for survivors, and that the issue will continue to be raised at every opportunity until it is addressed, and called for a Task Force on Reparation to investigate how to deliver it. He emphasised that there was a mechanism for funding compensation, if Government were to commit the equivalent value of the community service undertaken by insolvent perpetrators through TIG. His speech also stressed the importance of further support for survivors that still have cases unresolved at the point of closure of gacaca, and now require legal representation at formal courts.
In response, the Vice-President of the Rwanda Senate, Jeanne d’arc Gakuba, emphasised that the issue of reparation for survivors had not been forgotten, and that it will be made a reality, as it is critical for justice. She stated that the Government of Rwanda will follow-up on the issue , and that it will be addressed.
The challenge ahead for SURF, REDRESS, IBUKA and our partner organisations is to ensure that this strong commitment is translated into action. If so, we share the confidence of both Professor Dusingizemungu and Madame Vice President Gakuba, that one day survivors will see compensation in Rwanda.