The Righteous of Rwanda Between Oblivious and Reconciliation

Genocide and war in Rwanda in the Bosnian public was not serious observed even after the war in BiH. Let us recall that. Also, on the threshold of the 21st century, there was killed 800,000 people, members of the Tutsi tribe, just in one hundred days, mostlywith primitive weapons what are, for example, a machete.

Of course, for the lack of empathy we could not blame ordinary people, but the lack of interest of journalists, publishers, politicians and lawyers who, each in his corner, could create public interest in the genocide in Rwanda.

During the war in Bosnia, with all its horrors, including genocide, frequently asked question was how is it possible, in the heart of Europe at the end of 20th Ages. In this issue, for a careful observer, there is obvious influence of the unconscious that reveals some of our prejudices. The first is certainly the belief that the human race is older, it is more humane. In 21th Ages since it started, there was not a single day without wars and violence and without the influence of certain wars in human relations at the global level. 20th was also a century of the greatest evils, it is enough to mention the word Holocaust. Twentieth and twenty-first centuries were periods of maximum sophistication of armaments. We have progressed to the point that  we can destroy the planet just with one push on a button. That is all about the maturity and humanity of mankind! Be amazed at what happened to us in the heart of Europe, in the best case, is funny because Europe, or any other territory,  is not immune from the evil. The most rigid ideology what are a fascism and Nazism were created on European ground. After all, is not the Milošević seed of evil, on which Bosnian public gave reports in the war when called upon to help Europe, planted in Europe? There is one more prejudices which can be revealed thanks to our faith in Europe. Be amazed with fact that something like that happens in Europe has meant that genocide elsewhere, for example in Africa, is a normal occurrence. That was obvious when some public figure from Bosnia, unaware of their racism, had complained that the world powers see us as a "savage African tribes".


In such an autism and unreasonably high self-evaluation, developing in parallel with our misfortunes, for the BiH public genocide in Rwanda passed almost unnoticed. Also with little or no empathy by individuals. There was demolished another myth, that similar experiences are empathetic towards one another. Genocide and war in Rwanda in the Bosnian public was not serious observed even after the war in BiH. Let us recall that. Also, on the threshold of the 21st century, there was killed 800,000 people, members of the Tutsi tribe,  just in one hundred days, mostlywith  primitive weapons what are, for example, a machete. Of course, for the lack of empathy we could not blame ordinary people, but the lack of interest of journalists, publishers, politicians and lawyers who, each in his corner, could create public interest in the genocide in Rwanda. Rwanda knowledge relating to the genocide and its perpetrators are doubly valuable for Bosnian facing  the past.


When it comes to publishing, surely one of the most valuable attempts is the book The Righteous of Rwanda Between Oblivious and Reconciliationin. The book's publisher is NGO GATRIWO and editor is Svetlana Broz. Goal of the book is to affirm the righteous, people who, during the genocide, refused to participate in it even they are the members of the Hutu tribe. They also  were saving Tutsis and/or their property. Through examples of such people becomes clear that there are no conditions in which it is impossible to remain human. The genocide in Rwanda is certainly one of the scariest. To kill a member of the Tutsi tribe was the norm. From the radio stations they were called dogs and their shelters were being  discovered and Hutus were being called to kill them. They were absolutely dehumanized, as demonstrated by the way they were killed - mostly with machetes. It had not fit into the category of sin. On the contrary, morality is being proved by the killing. In addition to the creation of hatred against Tutsis, Hutus were being forced to participate in the genocide, and those who dared to help the Tutsis were being intimidated, tortured, killed...


After the genocide was stopped by entering Rwandan Patriotic Front in the country, there was happened what was to be expected - the collectivization of guilt. Killing 800,000 people for one hundred days creates a presumption that there were not members of the Hutu tribe who somehow did not participate in the genocide. However, it is not so. Indeed, there were such people, not as exceptions that prove the rule, but the book shows that they way of life and upbringing did not allow the killing, that they rescuing others was demanded by their conscience which  is deeply conditioned by many things related to the Hutu tradition - cultural , religious, tradition of living together with Tutsis, etc. They are showing that being a Hutu does not mean being a murderer. It should be emphasized that  there is not aim just to remove a sense of collective guilt from Hutus with the examples of the righteous, but also the examples of the righteous could be used for the self-reflection and repentance of  participants in the genocide. Righteous affirmation also wants to increase their influence in the Gacaca trials. Specifically, the Gacaca courts have ceased to operate in 2012th, and the book in its original edition in English was published in 2004th. Rather, it was a statement of organization Penal Reform International about the supervision and investigation of Gacaca trials. Since the creation of this report to present the data have been drastically altered, but it can be said that the assumptions made in the report are proved to be true.


There were more than 12,000 Gacaca courts in Rwanda. For ten years has been resolved 1.9 million cases. What is particularly fascinating is fact that in 30 percent of cases defendants were acquitted. In mentioned trials, which are one of the foundations for reconciliation in Rwanda, one of the most important role was the role a righteous.  They were impotartant as judges, as witnesses and as examples of humanity.


The book, therefore, speaks about the righteous of Rwanda - who are they, what is their profile, what position they have in society - about the genocide and many other things. The book shows us the history and use of the term „righteous“ in the context of the war, which has its roots in the Jewish tradition. Also, the book has an extremely valuable glossary in which are explained the terms of the language of Rwanda, which is very difficult to translate unambiguously, and all of that terms are in some way related to the the genocide and facing the past in Rwanda. Of course, in our context, the book has an additional, practical value, which can greatly help in facing the past here, but also in freeing ourselves from pejudices towards Africa. Given the enormity of the genocide that occurred in Rwanda, we can say that they have been successful in solving the problems of the past.


Amer Tikveša

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BOOKS

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