Rubavu: Threats to unity and reconciliation come from Congo

Bugeshi sector of Rubavu in Western Province is closed to the border with DRC, where many genociders have fled and often infiltrate to Rwanda. This constitutes a threat to eradicate genocide ideology and promote unity and reconciliation among inhabitants.

People in Bugeshi attest good progress in fighting genocide ideology, but still face challenges from DRC, where infiltrators come from, and inseminate the same ideology.

Inyenyeri (stars) association was created in Bugeshi, to promote unity and reconciliation among Rwandans. It is made of survivors of genocide, some perpetrators and other who were neutral. Genocide survivors have forgiven and exonerated damaged assets.

Meanwhile, Rubavu district remains on 2nd position in genocide ideology, apart from efforts of Bugeshi inhabitants, modals countrywide, by the association Inyenyeri.

Jean de Dieu Rugaju, is a member of Inyenyeri. He says they are not happy of the 2nd position in the country, while they make much efforts. He also mentions progress is undermined by ideology from DRC, where genocide makers are settled. “They come to sensitize ideology, weakening results of our efforts”.

Innocent Bugenimana, also member from Mutovu cell is happy of the progress of unity in Bugesha, but always points the border as a big challenge. “Some still have genocide ideology, they get it from siblings on the other side (Congo)”.

There are permanent cross border movements: people go there to the markets, they meet friends. Others come here, they talk, they share genocide ideology”, says Jean Nepomscene Zigiranyirazo, member of Inyenyeri association.

“However, there is no way to rend ideology public, they keep it inside because we have measures to persuade them”, adds Zigiranyirazo.

The same challenges are known by local leaders. Mvano Nsabimana Etienne, is the Executive secretary of Bugeshi sector. “The border with Congo is threat to security, and a challenge to unity and reconciliation”, he says.

Mvano Nsabimana Etienne/ES Bugeshi

Mvano Nsabimana Etienne/Executive Secretary  Bugeshi-Rubavu

“Some of our people have sons and brothers over there, they help them to come and stay here, it’s not a secret, we are closer to border”, he adds.

Provisions of article 135 of the Penal code are about Punishment of the crime of genocide ideology and other related offences. The article stipulate that “Any person who commits the crime of genocide ideology and other related offences shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of more than five (5) years to nine (9) years and a fine of one hundred thousand (100,000) to one million (1,000, 000) Rwandan francs.

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Jean Baptiste Karegeya


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