Home NewsNational MINUBUMWE Staff Train In Research and Preserving Genocide History

MINUBUMWE Staff Train In Research and Preserving Genocide History

by Emmy Nuwamanya
11:52 am

Minister of National Unity and Civic Engagement Dr. Jean Damascene Bizimana(Middle) during the training

The Ministry of National Unity and Civic Engagement (MINUBUMWE) in collaboration with researchers from the Shoah Jewish memorial museum based in Paris, France are conducting a two-day workshop in Kigali on promoting research and preserving Genocide history.

It is a training organised for MINUBUMWE Staff, Aegis Trust Rwanda and other stakeholders including researchers in Genocide studies.

This is a collaboration embedded in a project between both parties that will last for three years, sharing experience on different aspects including research methodologies.

According to the Minister of National Unity and Civic Engagement Dr. Jean Damascene Bizimana, this is part of a continuous process to train their Staff, owing to the fact that many of them are still new. He said there is need to equip them with knowledge about peace building, research and preserving history on the Genocide against Tutsi.

‘We expect more knowledge on maintaining Genocide memorial sites, equipping them with relevant materials on the Genocide history.  Many of the sites lack enough written, audio and video testimonies. These external researchers have experience in historical research and archieving documents for a long period, like we have in Gacaca, which we have to tap on.’, said Dr. Bizamana.

Currently, the Ministry has about 1,000 archieved testimonies, which the Minister said are still not enough and not all of them have been published.  There are also 8 Genocide memorial sites at national level, besides many others in different parts of the country.

What remains is to use such testimonies in form of short documentary films, publish books and other forms, to be uploaded on You tube channels and other platforms.

Jean Damascene Bizimana speaking to the media, December 20

One of the French researchers at the workshop, Stephane Audoin Rouzeau, is a Director of Studies at Ecole des Hautes etudes en science sociales (Paris).  He said that promoting peace building, the spirit of humanity and avoiding massive violence should be part of everyone’s daily life, if the world has to avoid another occurrence of Genocide.

‘As a historian, I find it impressive, for Rwanda having started commemoration immediately after the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.  This is part of preserving history, added to that, designating the Ministry in charge is another step, because history not remembered is forgotten,” Rouzeau said.

According to Joseph Kayinamura who works at Nyange Genocide memorial site in Ngororero district, the workshop adds value to his daily responsibilities, having learnt more about the history of other Genocides and how to prevent it.

‘We live alongside effects of the Genocide, we need to teach a lot, preserve history using symbols like memorial sites and lay ground for a better future. We can only give strength and console the victims by standing to their testimonies, hence defeating negationists.’, said Kayinamura.

Regarding denial and negation of Genocide against Tutsi, every stakeholder is called upon to stand up and fight negationists with the truth, which they always hide from, and playing role in healing the wounds of surviving victims.

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