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Igicumbi: the new association of genocide survivors and the fear of the Kigali regime 

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By The Rwandan Analyst

IGICUMBI or the new association of genocide survivors instituted abroad but promising to collaborate with other associations working in the same purpose raised reactions from the associations under the umbrella of RPF. The present lines, there is discussed the reasons which prompted the different associations of genocide survivors to brutally fight this new born institution which has not yet voiced out its programs nor implemented it to be objectively criticized.

The Umbrella Organisation of Genocide survivors’ associations- IBUKA has condemned activities of the newly formed and Diaspora-based Genocide Survivors Association called “Igicumbi -voix des recapés du Génocide contre les Tutsi” that is distorting truth about 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.IBUKA monitors individuals, institutions and organizations that fight against the genocide while also healing genocide survivors and Rwandan society in general. Therefore, the umbrella said in a statement issued on August 4, 2021, that it   is worried over the so-called association that is demeaning 1994 genocide against the Tutsi by advancing double genocide ideology. The statement was signed by the leaders of IBUKA Rwanda, AVEGA Agahozo, GAERG, AERG, IBUKA Belgium, IBUKA Switzerland, IBUKA France, IBUKA Italy, IBUKA Hollande, IBUKA Germany, IBUKA USA, ISHAMI Foundation UK, URUKUNDO Rwandan Organization Norway. IBUKA says the group’s activities are aimed at misleading genocide survivors, Rwandans in general as well as the world because their activities are for the benefits of the political elite. According to the statement, IBUKA said that the documents and statements of the members from the “Igicumbi -voix des recapés du Génocidecontre les Tutsi” association is using social media platforms to violate and demean the memory of those who were killed during genocide.

It says that Philippe Basabose who leads this association together with his associates have since May 2019 used social media platforms like YouTube to advance their own political agenda at the expense of survivors. “The group has consistently said that there was a double genocide,” which Ibuka says is a direct attack to the legacy of the over a million people killed in the Genocide. Those distorting truth about genocide against the Tutsi do so fully knowing the truth that the survivors were able to make it due to the sacrifice made by the RPA soldiers, some even lost their lives in the process, the statement adds. According to the communique, the group uses language that demean the victims of genocide against the Tutsi, where they say “bones remain are sold in glass jars”. This, IBUKA reiterates, is hurting genocide survivors considering that the words they use are used by genocide deniers. IBUKA goes on saying that those whom the group treats as genocide survivors are those whose ideology says that there was double genocide in Rwanda. In addition, the condemned group works with other organizations that spread the denial of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that insists existence of double genocide in Rwanda. IBUKA argues that the purpose of the diaspora-based group is not for their own political interests not for the benefits of genocide survivors. “The so-called organization does not even believe in Unity and Reconciliation, does not allow people to be equal before the law, and it promotes divisionism. The organization refuses to cooperate with others in dealing with the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi except seeking their own political interest and they do not really advocate for genocide survivors,” IBUKA warned. Ibuka calls on all Rwandan genocide survivors, both at home and abroad, to fight against anyone seeking to mislead them while masquerading to be a spokesperson for them. It enlightens that the leaders of the organization distorting the truth about genocide against the Tutsi include Basabose Philippe, Bayingana Jovin, Niyibizi Hosea, Rugambage Louis, Muhayimana Jason and Gasirabo Dada.

Analysis

A series of considerations justify the hatred against the new association while its vision and mission are just innocently the protection of the rights of genocide survivors.

-A structure with members opposed to the regime

The repetitive condemnation of the new born association of genocide survivors by Ibuka and its representations worldwide is based on the fact that the members are certainly tutsi and genocide survivors but they are not partisans of the RPF policies to mean that they have they have already crossed the red line drawn by the regime in the same way as other political opponents generally considered as enemies of the country regardless of their ethnicity.

But the clues are not far off. The first fact is that they deplore the assassination and not the suicide of the late Kizito Mihigo; the fact that they do not appreciate the ongoing pursuit of Karasira and Idamange reflects their political position; then they are to be put in the same basket as the other Rwandan opponents hostile to the regime and whom the latter considers as its sworn enemies.

-The regime behind the condemnation of the new association

To coexist with the kigali regime, you have to dance his song if not what awaits you is not desirable with regard to your civil and political rights. The institutions responsible for the memory of the genocide and the protection of the survivors belong to the RPF ; this is also the reason why their leaders are often assigned to other large-scale positions. This is the case of Prof Dusingizemungu Jean Pierre, former president of Ibuka who is now a senator; as well as Mr. Nabahire Anastase currently director general at the Ministry of Justice for just cite these.

Then they are in the right place to condemn their members who would dare to oppose the regime. This is why they directly dissociated themselves from Karasira and Idamange when they were arrested and that in the same context they condemned loudly and strong the new association as soon as they detected their political sensibilities which ostensibly do not line up behind the governance of Kigali.

Conclusion

It is the Manichean policy which is played in Kigali: who is not with us is against us as if political neutrality does not exist. The reason why the new association of the survivors of the genocide is not welcome in Rwanda and without first aligning itself behind the regime, all the ideals as noble and beneficial as they appear are automatically groundless and baseless in the eyes of the RPF without any other form of discussion.

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