Life for Survivors of the Rwandan Genocide

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LIFE FOR SURVIVORS
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The Legacy of Genocide

                                          Thousands of women and girls,            Supporting Widows
                                          raped and infected with HIV in a
                                          deliberate campaign of the genocide,     Women suffered terribly during the
                                          continue to die of AIDS because          genocide, particularly because sexual
                                          they cannot afford the antiretroviral    violence was used as a weapon of
                                          medication they need to keep them        war. Many women were widowed as
                                          alive.                                   men were targeted for killing.
                                                                                   Chased, beaten, brutalised, maimed
                                          No major institutions have come          and raped, after the genocide
                                          forward to support survivors - for the   women are still struggling to rebuild
                                          most part they have been expected        their shattered lives. They live in
                                          to pick up their lives since the         poverty and until they find some
                                          genocide and carry on as normal.         economic security, they remain
                                          But this has been impossible to do.      utterly dependent upon government
                                          From 1994 to 2005, the Rwandan           or charitable aid in every aspect
‘I only have to look at                   Government put 5% of its national        of their lives. This destroys their
                                                                                   confidence and self esteem.
myself in the mirror to see               budget into a Rwandan Government
the legacy of the genocide’               Fund for Survivors (FARG) which
                                          assisted survivors with school fees,     Survivors Fund helps women in
Daphrose, survivor of genocide            healthcare and housing.                  a number of ways. For example
                                                                                   it provides grants for income
Around 360,000 people,                    Organisations such as Survivors          generation projects, such as for
predominantly women and children,         Fund (www.survivors-fund.org.uk)         farmyard animals. The animals
survived the genocide in Rwanda.          continue to help survivors to rebuild    provide food, (such as eggs from
The majority of these widows and          their lives.                             chickens and milk from goats) and
orphans now live in desperate                                                      can be taken to market and sold
poverty and lack proper shelter,
education and the means to earn
money to buy basic necessities
such as medicine and food. Many
are still severely traumatised by their
experiences of genocide, and feel
guilty that they survived when their
loved ones died. They often live with
painful physical wounds from the
genocide such as machete scars.

‘I was a child, only  years
old when the killers struck.
Today I am 23 years old. I
am suffering still from the
cuts on my face and neck.
What hope or future do I
have?’
                                          AVEGA Eastern Region is an organisation founded and run by widows of
Ange, survivor of genocide                the genocide to help widows cope with life after the genocide.




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The Legacy of Genocide (continued)


when money is needed. Women
often participate in income generation
projects together, and this reduces
isolation as they form friendships
with those who have had similar
experiences to their own.

Trauma is a problem for survivors,
made worse by the fact that there
are so few trained counsellors in
Rwanda. Survivors Fund’s partner
organisations, led by survivors, teach
survivors how to listen to each other
and help each other deal with their
problems.

Supporting Orphans
Of all survivors, the most needy are
children. Many are orphans who have      The Humura Centre will enable survivors to give their testimonies in a
been left with no adult figure to love   holistic programme and will ensure that their memories are properly
or guide them.                           and accurately recorded at the same time as providing the psychological
                                         support so vital when recalling this traumatic past.
Children and orphans are often left to
fend for themselves. They are forced
to quit school, join the workforce,      parents die and face the possibility   Many children have no inheritance
and care for younger brothers and        that they too could be infected. But   from parents - neither money nor
sisters. Often they are caregivers,      many are too scared to get tested,     land; they have to fend for their
sometimes to more than ten siblings.     do not understand why they are ill,    own basic needs, including finding
                                         or are unaware that they have been     shelter for their brothers and sisters.
260,000 children have been               at risk.                               SURF helps by working with local
orphaned in Rwanda through HIV/                                                 communities to acquire land rights,
AIDS, many forced to watch their                                                and builds and renovates houses for
                                                                                orphan families.

                                                                                Memory
                                                                                Abandoned by the world in 1994,
                                                                                survivors fear that the world will
                                                                                lose interest and forget about the
                                                                                genocide. For them, sustaining
                                                                                the memory of the genocide is an
                                                                                important way of remembering loved
                                                                                ones who were killed and can no
                                                                                longer tell their stories.

Survivors of the genocide gather at the memorial at Bisesero, a site            Survivors want to remind the rest
which contains the remains of 75,000 victims. There were 43,00 people          of the world of the devastating
killed at Bisesero.                                                             consequences of crimes against
                                                                                humanity and why they must never




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The Legacy of Genocide (continued)


                                                                      be allowed to happen again. They
                                                                      actively ‘remember’ the genocide in a
                                                                      number of ways such as by recording
                                                                      their testimonies, leaving some
                                                                      remains of victims on open display
                                                                      at massacre sites, and building and
                                                                      visiting memorials. All these things
                                                                      are incontestable proof that the
                                                                      genocide happened.

                                                                      Many women and girls raped
                                                                      during the genocide and dying of
                                                                      AIDS want to leave their stories for
                                                                      their children once they are gone.
The skulls of those killed in the church and surrounding grounds at   Survivors Fund helps survivors to
Ntarama, where 5,000 people lost their lives.                         record their testimonies, which are
                                                                      also firsthand eyewitness historical
                                                                      accounts of genocide. Talking about
                                                                      their experiences to other people is a
                                                                      difficult process, especially because
                                                                      issues such as rape are stigmatised,
                                                                      and because of a culture where
                                                                      talking about problems is seen as a
                                                                      sign of weakness. But talking and
                                                                      sharing experiences has helped
                                                                      survivors to begin to heal painful
                                                                      emotional wounds.




Kamonyi Memorial in Gitarama: 45,000 victims buried.




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Survivors and Justice
‘Most of the people who killed my family                           family. What justice is there for my family? They
crossed to Congo, but the man who killed my                        continue to live with the legacy of genocide.’
father, known as Concorde, is still living in the
community. He confessed in gacaca courts                                                          Ange, Rwandan survivor
                                                                                            aged 11 at the time of genocide
to killing my father. He still has a life and a


After the genocide, over 130,000           are plans to transfer the trials of some   impossible to hear all the cases of
people were detained on suspicion          of the accused to other countries,         the thousands of prisoners awaiting
of having organized or taken part in       including Rwanda, but the time limits      trial in the conventional justice system
the genocide in Rwanda. At the same        on the existence of the ICTR mean          in Rwanda and at the ICTR. And
time, the Rwandan government has           that many people guilty of genocide        so while the most serious cases of
encouraged its citizens to engage          will not have to face justice for their    genocide are heard at Arusha, since
in reconciliation, and to live together    actions.                                   2003 many thousands of prisoners
in peace to help rebuild Rwanda                                                       have been released and are now
- shattered by genocide and years          The ICTR, like other war crimes            being tried in gacaca courts - a
of civil war. But for survivors to move    tribunals, has no police force of          reworking of the traditional Rwandan
forward with their lives, justice must     its own and relies on national             community conflict resolution system.
come before reconciliation. This           governments around the world to            This has meant that survivors have to
means that perpetrators must admit         arrest or capture those indicted.          endure living side by side with killers
to and take responsibility for what        Yet many accused perpetrators              and rapists.
they did.                                  of war crimes in Rwanda and
                                           other countries such as the former         Prisoners sign an admission of guilt
The International Criminal                 Yugoslavia remain at large; this           before they are released, and as half
                                           brings into question the commitment        of the sentence given out at gacaca
Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)                 of other countries to bring them to        is community service, the fact that
The International Criminal Tribunal for    justice.                                   prisoners have already spent time in
Rwanda was set up by the United                                                       prison means that in effect many are
Nations in 1994 in Arusha, Tanzania        Compensation for                           now free. Some perpetrators have
(close to the border with Rwanda) to                                                  also only admitted enough to secure
                                           Survivors                                  their release - hiding the rest of their
try those accused of genocide. Trials
started in late 1996 but a backlog         While Arusha prisoners receive three       crimes.
quickly formed as there were so            meals a day and free antiretroviral
many cases to be heard.                    drugs if they are HIV positive,            Survivors can testify against the
                                           survivors struggle to feed themselves      accused in the gacaca courts,
The most serious cases of genocide;        and many are dying of AIDS because         but there is no adequate witness
those involving planning and               they have no access to antiretroviral      protection programme; survivors
orchestrating killings, are heard at the   medication. These are reasons why          are increasingly being intimidated,
ICTR. Yet despite a staff of 800, and      survivors feel forgotten and why           assaulted and their property
having spent well over half a billion      many are demanding compensation.           damaged because of testifying
dollars so far, the ICTR had only          Money will never replace the family        as witnesses. In a few instances
convicted 24 individuals of genocide       they have lost, nor will it heal their     survivors have even been killed so
by June 2006.                              trauma overnight; but it would at          that they don’t give evidence. Many
                                           least alleviate the poverty genocide       survivors do not see gacaca as a way
And whilst 19 individuals indicted         has caused, giving survivors a             of delivering true justice, although it
(formally accused) by the ICTR have        chance to rebuild their lives.             has provided a way of finally finding
not yet been apprehended, there                                                       out the truth about how and where
is already a timetable to wind up          Gacaca Courts                              their loved ones were killed.
proceedings in Arusha: trials will
conclude by the end of 2008 and            The Rwandan Government and the
appeals by the end of 2010. There          ICTR soon realised that it would be


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‘I just survive somehow’

1. Read what Daphrose / Simeon
   / Cassien / Ange - a survivor of
   genocide - has to say about his/her
   life since the genocide in 1994.

a) Make a list of the problems that
   he/she faces in rebuilding his/her
   life after genocide.

b) Has he/she received any help to
   solve his/her problems? Has he/
   she found any solutions or coping
   mechanisms of his/her own?




Daphrose Mukangarambe
lost her five children
and her husband in the
                                         was fortunate in being able to get an   We found many bodies. I can’t get
genocide. Of her entire                  operation on my jaw.                    over the grief and sorrow of losing my
immediate family, only her                                                       children. I try not to think about my
nephew survived.                         One of eyes still damaged and           life because it hurts so much. I only
                                         I cannot see with it. I still have      have to look at myself in the mirror
Ruhango School, where Daphrose           problems with my lower jaw, but I am    to see the legacy of the genocide.
and her family were sheltering, was      slowly beginning to hear again.         The scars on my face and neck and
attacked. She managed to escape                                                  the scars in my heart are a daily
but was caught whilst hiding in a        I live now on the AVEGA estate          reminder to me of what happened.
banana plantation. She almost died       in Nyagasambu. Joining AVEGA
of machete wounds at the hands of        has helped me a great deal because      Despite all my problems though,
the interahamwe, but was helped by       I now realise that I am not alone       I have survived. I have AVEGA to
local Twas and the RPF. Her family       in enduring the consequences            thank. Giving me a house was the
were not as lucky.                       of genocide. I must live with the       best gift. Whether I am sad, hungry,
                                         damage, and by accepting my new         sick or grieving I have a safe and
“The RPF took me to hospital, where      circumstances I will live longer.       secure space where I can put my
I weighed just 29kgs, so thin that                                               head down and cry. But I know I am
I looked no older than a nine old.       Recently released gacaca prisoners      not alone and I thank God that I
Fellow survivors saw to it that I        who confessed to killing in my          have made it this far.”
received food and soon I started         hometown told me where they
to learn to walk again. My nephew        buried my two older children.
stayed with me in hospital; he gave
me shelter. Though I had to rely
on big sticks to move around. But
I managed in time to gain weight.
But I still could not chew hard, but I




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‘I just survive somehow’ (continued)


Siméon Karamaga fought
in the resistance at
Bisesero, but lost his wife
and eight children in the
genocide.

Siméon was second-in-command
in the armed resistance of Bisesero
as the local community staved off
attack for two months before the
French belatedly arrived to provide
protection. Alas, for many, the help
came too late ...

“Prior to the genocide, Abasesero
was full of strong men. The few men
who remain today will die of sorrow.
We cannot foresee the future of
Bisesero. Communal houses were          kill us, even now. In early 1997 the     We have a memorial site, but it is
built for us and we were given a cow    militiamen killed survivors. They were   unfinished. Meanwhile we keep the
to begin our lives, but we have no      killed by machetes, just like in April   skeleton and bones of our families
families, no children, no wives to      1994. We lost all faith in life.         in a hut made of iron sheets.
have children with so that we can
carry on the name of Abasesero. We      After genocide everything is a           We clean them and use a special
no longer have the numbers to feel      struggle. I am disabled due to the       chemical to preserve them. The
safe.                                   genocide. I just survive somehow. I      keepers of our memorials are our
                                        spend my days grazing the one cow        people. One is my younger brother
We have tried to accept that our life   I still own, getting soaked when it      and two sons of my older brother. At
will be difficult. Butwhat hurts us     rains. I see no new beginning, or        least we have that, our remains to
deeply that the militiamen want to      end. That’s my life.                     visit.

                                                                                 But Bisesero is still Bisesero. Our
                                                                                 aggressors are still frightened of us,
                                                                                 they don’t attack or kill survivors
                                                                                 easily. Although they killed many
                                                                                 of us, we who survived still protect
                                                                                 each other.”




The memorial to the genocide victims at Bisesero.




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‘I just survive somehow’ (continued)


Cassien Mbanda was just
ten years old at the time
of the genocide, and at
school in Primary 3.

Cassien was one of four children and
lived with his parents in Kigali. At the
time of the genocide, he was staying
with his maternal grandmother in
Bicumbi, and managed to escape by
hiding in swamps and bushes then
pretending to be Hutu but was
seriously injured.

“I started attending school when one
day two European women came for
children who were severely ill. They
took us to a nunnery at Byumba,
from where we travelled to Kampala         take any addresses of my friends and       Before the genocide I was happy,
and then on to Italy.                      have not heard from anyone since.          but now I am worried about life. As
                                           It still hurts that all the preparations   FARG can no longer support us, how
I was put in a military hospital. After    were done without my knowledge.            do I pay school fees for my siblings?
three months, I was taken to another                                                  I don’t have a job, but what can I do
orphanage with Rwandan children.           I was happy to see my aunt and             with no skills?
Altogether I was there for almost          my surviving siblings, who had
year, by which time I could speak          begun to attend school thanks to           Sometimes I feel angry for being
fluent Italian. I returned to school       the Government Fund for Survivors          returned to Rwanda and missing
at the orphanage and completed             (FARG) who paid their fees.                out on an incredible opportunity to
primary education.                                                                    rebuild my life. But I also feel happy
                                           One day I started to get headaches.        to be back in Rwanda and at home,
The turning happened one Friday            I couldn’t read or concentrate, and        having been able to find my siblings
afternoon. Someone told me that I          despite painkillers the headaches          and just to be there for them.”
was due to return to Rwanda.               wouldn’t go away and I had to drop
                                           out of school. I wished I could go
I was told my aunt had survived they       back to the doctors who treated me
had found her. Part of me was happy        in Italy because they knew how to
and wanted to go back Rwanda. But          help.
it happened so suddenly I didn’t even




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‘I just survive somehow’ (continued)


“After the genocide I began
suffering severe head-
aches, and was admitted
to hospital where I spent 5
months.

When I came out of hospital, a widow
who had lost her children invited me
to stay with her in Kigali. I tried to
return to school but I could not cope.
I decided to do a catering course,
which I have now completed.

Meanwhile I found out that my three
siblings had survived, and were living
in Cyangugu. The Government Fund
for Survivors (FARG) pays the school
fees of of my siblings, but my elder
brother has turned to drinking and         health is continuing to get worse. I   I was tested and found to be HIV
dropped out of school.                     am anxious about getting a proper      positive. The only way this could
                                           job to enable me to get a house and    have happened is through rape.
Before the genocide life to us. I          bring my siblings to live with me.     I was a child, only 11 years old
always told mother everything. She                                                when the killers struck. Today I
was there me, always. Now I am on          Most of those who killed my family,    am 23 years old. I am suffering still
my own. I can’t even afford to look        fled to Congo after the genocide.      from the cuts on my face and neck.
after my siblings. Life is very hard and   But the man who killed my father,      What hope or future do I have?”
unpredictable and I worry about the        known as Concorde, still lives in
future.                                    the community. He confessed in
                                           gacaca courts to the crime. He still
I have been disabled by the                has a life and a family. How is that
genocide. Headaches continue to            justice?
bother me. The left side of my face is
still numb, and I black out often.         I heard about Solace Ministries and
                                           went to see them. They have tried
I am told there is a problem with          to help me cope with my situation.
and Rwanda has no means to me.             Recently when I was feeling unwell,




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Justice and Forgiveness

Look at part of a speech by
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame,
and at the extracts from survivors
talking about justice and forgiveness
after the genocide.

Discussion
1. Do you think it is easier to ask for
  forgiveness than to be asked?

2. Who should decide when it is time
  to forgive?                                 Valentina Izabagiza was  when                 Siméon Karamaga
                                              genocide ravaged Rwanda. She
3. Which of the following do you think        and her family hid in a Catholic
  would help survivors and other              Church after the killing started.               The militiamen did not lose a thing
  people in Rwanda to live in peace                                                           during the genocide but they are
  and move on with their lives in a                                                           the ones who receive all the help.
  positive way?                               ‘I went to Arusha to testify at the
                                                                                              Everyone who has returned from
  • Remembering;                              International Criminal Tribunal for
                                                                                              Zaire or Tanzania must go to the
  • Forgetting;                               Rwanda (ICTR), where I could see
                                                                                              office in the relevant sector to collect
  • Forgiving;                                Gatcumbitsi the mayor of Nyarubuye.
                                                                                              goods and materials such as plates,
  • Delivering justice to victims and         I knew him but of course he didn’t
                                                                                              blankets, cups etc. Some white
    survivors;                                know me. He looked fat and healthy
                                                                                              people even came along to check
  • Offering compensation to                  and he wore a smart suit with a tie,
                                                                                              that everyone had received the
    survivors and victims’ families.          and he looked contented. I was
                                                                                              necessary utensils. As for us, no one
                                              terrified, and then I felt very angry.
                                                                                              came to check on us ....
4. What factors do you think                  That gave me the courage to speak
  influence people’s ability to forgive?      and tell my story. He didn’t seem
                                                                                              Those who came to kill in Bisesero
                                              remotely concerned at what I had
                                                                                              have never been punished. They
5. ‘Seeking reconciliation without            to say. Then his lawyer asked me
                                                                                              were pardoned. We still see them
  justice risks seeing history repeat         questions which made me both
                                                                                              around and fear that they will try to
  itself’.1 What do you think this            scared and furious. What right had
                                                                                              kill us again one day. Apparently they
  means? Can you think of any                 they to question my credibility in this
                                                                                              are supposed to have confessed to
  examples in the world of where this         way, after what I had suffered? My
                                                                                              killings, but they have never asked
  is the case?                                testimony at the International Criminal
                                                                                              us for forgiveness or confessed to
                                              Court brought me no relief. All it did
                                                                                              us. Do you believe that they are
                                              was make me relive the horrors of
                                                                                              not unhappy and ready to finish the
                                              Nyarabuye church.’
                                                                                              business they started? If someone
‘The survivors of the genocide                                          Valentina, survivor   asks for forgiveness you forgive
are the heroes of our time! Asking                         aged 11 at the time of genocide    them, but if they are not prepared
them to forgive those that wiped                                                              to confess openly and ask for
out their entire families is to ask           (In 2004 Sylvestre Gatcumbitsi was              forgiveness, what can make us feel
them to swallow a bitter pill. We             sentenced to 30 years imprisonment              confident that they won’t try to kill us
are conscious of this, but for the            for organising the slaughter of 20,000          again?
sake of nation building, we have no           people during the genocide. He
alternative.’                                 also distributed weapons and urged              Apart from the released prisoners,
  Rwandan President Paul Kagame speaking at   Hutus to kill Tutsis and rape Tutsi             security in our area has improved.
  genocide commemoration in Rwanda in 2004    women.)                                         Soldiers were protecting us in the




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Justice and Forgiveness (continued)


past, but they have now left. Bisesero
is still Bisesero. Our aggressors are
still frightened of us; they don’t attack
or kill survivors easily. Although they
killed many of us, we who survived
still protect each other.

As for reconciliation, we do not
feel that we can be reconciled with
people who have killed members of
our families and who will persist in
trying to kill us. All we want to hear         Daphrose Mukangarambe
is the officials say that they have
finished punishing the genocide
criminals.                                     ‘Our neighbours didn’t really need us
                                               back. They had lived well and profited
We stay on our hill and we do not              from us being away. Many looted our
prevent anyone from living their lives         property, both the bar and the home.
the way they want to. Someone has              Just after the genocide, interahamwe
to tell us exactly what we have to do          that had not fled tried to kill us with
to be reconciled. Do we have to offer          a grenade so that we would not be
beer to the militia to show that we are        able to pursue justice. A grenade
reconciled or do we give our cows,             was thrown into my room but it
which is a sign of friendship, to the          exploded narrowly missing me. We
genocidal killers? They are the ones           had to move away from our home,
who cannot bear the fact that we               because we were still in danger. We
are still alive. I have put all my trust       survived, but they are not happy we
in God, all that I have left, because I        are still here. They were sure we had
am still a Christian. But ultimately we        to die. They refused to hide us, but
need justice.’                                 we survived. They must live with their
                            Siméon, survivor   guilt.’
             aged 50 at the time of genocide
                                                            Daphrose, survivor of genocide




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Punishing the Crime of Genocide
During the Rwandan genocide, the orders to                    Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda remain at large.
kill came from the highest political level; from              Tens of individuals, including one woman and
ministers, the Presidential Guard and Rwandan                 a number of high ranking military officials, are
army soldiers, well respected figure heads                    either awaiting trial or have trials in progress at
including many local governors and academics,                 the ICTR. But only a handful, 24 people by June
and even some religious figures. Many of those                2006, have been convicted of genocide crimes;
wanted for genocide crimes by the International               some of these are detailed below.


Punishment under the                   by the ICTR and sentenced to 10          Consolata Mukangango
Genocide Convention                    years imprisonment. During the           and Julienne Mukabutera
                                       genocide Ntakirutimana encouraged
Article Three of the United Nations    and took part in murders; notably        - Benedictine Nuns
Convention on the Prevention           on the 16th April 1994 he brought a      Consolata Mukangango (Sister
and Punishment of the Crime of         group of armed militia to his church     Gertrude) and Julienne Mukabutera
Genocide states that the following     compound where Tutsis were               (Sister Maria Kisito) were based
are punishable:                        sheltering. Many hundreds of Tutsis      at the Sovu Convent in Butare at
                                       and a number of moderate Hutus           the time of the genocide; Sister
a) Genocide;                           were subsequently killed by the          Gertrude was the Mother Superior.
b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;      militia.                                 In 2001, a Belgium court found both
c) Direct and public incitement to                                              Benedictine nuns guilty of having
   commit genocide;                    Jean Kambanda - Prime                    participated in the massacre of more
d) Attempt to commit genocide;                                                  than 7600 people at the convent,
e) Complicity in genocide.             Minister
                                                                                Sister Gertrude was sentenced to 15
                                       Jean Kambanda became Prime               years imprisonment and Sister Kisito
Jean-Paul Akayesu - Mayor              Minister of Rwanda’s caretaker           to 12 years.
                                       government after the death of
Until a landmark legal decision in     President Habyarimana in the plane       On the 22nd April alone, more than
1998, the acts of rape and sexual      crash of April 7th. He became the        7000 people, mostly Tutsis were
violence which took place during the   first head of a government to plead      killed at the Sovu Convent; many
genocide went largely untold and       guilty to the charge of genocide. In     were burned alive in the garage of
unpunished. But in 1998 Jean-Paul      1998 Kambanda was found guilty of        the convent as they attempted to
Akayesu, former mayor of Taba,         a number of genocide crimes and          hide from Hutu militia. Both nuns
was convicted and sentenced to         was condemned to life imprisonment       brought jerry cans of petrol to start
life imprisonment at the ITCR for      by the ICTR, becoming the first          the fire and Sister Kisito poured petrol
genocide, crimes against humanity,     person to be sentenced with the          over the building and set it alight.
and rape and encouraging sexual        crime of genocide since the adoption     In July 1994 the nuns left Rwanda
violence. This was the first time      of the Genocide Convention in 1948.      and were transferred to a convent in
that rape was found to be an act of
                                                                                Belgium via the Democratic Republic
genocide when committed with the       During the genocide, not only did        of Congo and France.
intention of destroying a particular   Kambanda fail to use his authority
group.                                 as Prime Minister to stop genocidal
                                       killings which he knew were taking
Elizaphan Ntakirutimana                place, but he supported calls
- Pastor                               broadcast on the radio urging Hutus
                                       to go out and kill, and distributed
Elizaphan Ntakirutimana was a          weapons and ammunition to militia
Pastor of a Seventh Day Adventist      fully knowing the purpose for which
Church at the time of genocide. In     they were to be used.
2003 he was found guilty of genocide



SURF: Life for Survivors                               ()                             www.survivors-fund.org.uk
       Educational Materials

LIFE FOR SURVIVORS
Teacher’s Notes




Teacher’s Notes
A. This topic, Life for Survivors, relates to the                  D. Discussion Pointers for Activities
following areas of the National Citizenship
Curriculum for England for KS3 and KS4:                            I Just Survive Somehow
                                                                   This activity lets students understand the lives of
• The legal and human rights and responsibilities                  survivors through their eyes. Students could work in
  underpinning society, and how they relate to                     pairs or groups to read through the stories, and then
  citizens.                                                        feedback to the whole class. When students write the
• The world as a global community, and the political,              list of problems, encourage them to look for emotional
  economic, environmental and social implications                  ones such as loneliness and fear as well as the more
  of this, and the role of the European Union, the                 obvious practical ones such as lack of food. Asking
  Commonwealth and the United Nations.                             students to identify survivors’ own coping mechanisms
• Researching a political, spiritual, moral, social or             and solutions discourages them from seeing survivors
  cultural issue.                                                  as passive victims, but rather people who, despite their
• Using one’s imagination to consider other people’s               incredibly difficult circumstances, are trying to help
  experiences and be able to think about, express,                 themselves.
  explain and critically evaluate views that are not ones
  own.                                                             Justice and Forgiveness
• The importance of resolving conflict fairly.                     As a follow on to the discussion generated by this
                                                                   activity, students could research how other countries
                                                                   have approached the issues of justice, forgiveness,
B. Learning Objectives of the Life for Survivors                   healing and nation building after conflict or adversity.
Module:                                                            What methods have they employed? How successful
                                                                   do students think they have been? (Countries could
1. Empathise with the experiences of survivors through             include South Africa, Sierra Leone and Northern
   their firsthand testimony as they rebuild their lives           Ireland.) Do students think it is possible to compare
   after genocide.                                                 rebuilding a country after genocide to rebuilding a
                                                                   country after civil war or apartheid?
2. Consider the roles of justice and forgiveness in
   rebuilding a nation after genocide.

3. Understand the need to remember what happened
   in Rwanda to prevent future crimes against
   humanity.


C. Contents of the Life for Survivors Resource:

•   The Legacy of Genocide - information
•   Survivors and Justice - information
•   I Just Survive Somehow - activity
•   Justice and Forgiveness - activity
•   Punishing Genocide - resource




                                                                                               last updated: February 2007




SURF: Life for Survivors                                    (2)                             www.survivors-fund.org.uk

				
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