Killing a genocide survivor during the 100 days of commemoration

By The Rwandan Analyst

Introduction 

There was a habit that Hutus were unduly accused of prejudicing survivors of genocide during the period of commemoration; as if they ignore the reprisals of the Rwandan state against such acts and there is wondered why they did not commit the same facts out of that sensitive period.

Astonishingly, security organs precisely Rwandan national police and Rwanda defence force recently just on 13 April 2021, invaded the Muyumbu locality in Rwamagana district and assassinated an adolescent survivor of genocide named Twiringiyimana Jean de Dieu accusing him to be a delinquent who among other crimes stole macadamia fruits. Facing those deplorable facts, the present brief study tackles the ins and outs of such a misconduct of security forces as far as legal and political parameters are concerned.

1.Protection of survivors as a crying lie

In the aftermath of 1994 genocide, laws and regulations were enacted to prosecute and severely repress this crime; thousands of Hutu were massively arrested and detained, others were killed in a sort of retaliation; special chambers were instituted in tribunals of first instance to judge authors of this offence; a fund to assist survivors commonly called FARG(Fonds assistance aux Rescapés du Genocide);associations of survivors were founded especially Ibuka, Avega,Arg; Barakabaho; Kanyarwanda, etc.This legal, political and institutional initiative was laudable and proving that survivors were well treated and this connotated a sort of ethnic solidarity.

Unfortunately, as political views are not forcibly unanimous, this apparent unity changed and the leading regime started assassinating or jailing those surviving Tutsis. The outstanding ones are Kabera Assiel; Rwigara Assinapol; Kizito Mihigo; Father Karekezi Dominique; Mucyo Jean de Dieu, Bahati; Deo Mushaidi; Idamange Yvonne; Diane Rwigara and her mother Adeline Rwigara, the list is so long.

2.The crime committed by the security forces

According to the law punishing the genocide ideology, prejudicing or killing a genocide survivor is not only a murder but also genocide ideology and divisionism given that most of time the motive “animus necandi” is driven by the ethnic hatred and other baseness. Indeed, as per article 2 law n° 84/2013 of 11/09/2013 on the crime of genocide ideology and other related offences, genocide recognized by the United Nations: any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group as such, whether in time of peace or in time of war: a. killing members of the group; b. causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c. deliberately inflicting on the group, in whole or in part, conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction; d. imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e. forcibly transferring children from the group to another group.Article 3 of the same law clarifies characteristics of this crimes stating that the crime of genocide ideology is characterized in any behavior manifested by facts aimed at dehumanizing a person or a group of persons with the same characteristics in the following manner: threatening, intimidating, degrading through defamatory speeches, documents or actions which aim at propounding wickedness or inciting hatred; marginalizing, laughing at one’s misfortune, defaming, mocking, boasting, despising, degrading creating confusion aiming at negating the genocide which occurred, stirring up ill feelings, taking revenge, altering testimony or evidence for the genocide which occurred; 3° killing, planning to kill or attempting to kill someone for purposes of furthering genocide ideology.Finally, article 12 of the same law establishes penalties whereby there is stated that Any person who commits one of the acts provided for in Articles 3 through 11 of this Law shall be punished in accordance with the general principles and penalties provided for by the Organic Law instituting the Penal Code.

Given the facts committed by policemen and soldiers against the survivor called Twiringiyimana Jean de Dieu and enlightened by the provisions of this law repressing the crime of genocide ideology and divisionism and there is a not responded issue of knowing if genocide survivors are still really protected by the RPF regime. This concern is expressed by survivors of Muyumbu wondering whether the state is there to kill them while the last regime also took away their relatives.

Conclusion

When it deems its political or financial interests threatened, the RPF regime do not hesitate to eliminate the individuals judged as obstacles regardless of their ethnic origin; this is what happened to those genocide survivors and this trend will not stop because when political issues are involved all those formal enactments are put aside. Time will tell.

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