The association of researchers at the National University of Rwanda (NUR) in Butare region has for the first time confessed and asked for pardon for the role played by their colleagues in the implementation of genocide in Rwanda.
Dr. Charles Karangwa, the chairman of the association, said the university researchers have been haunted by the fact that their colleagues, through their skills, planned and eventually fueled the implementation of genocide against the Tutsi in 1994.
Some of the university intellectuals who were involved in the planning and implementation of genocide include: Theodore Sindikubwabo – who was a university doctor and also president of the renegade government (leta y’abatabazi) – and Leon Mugesera – who was a full professor at the national university, and who suggested that Tutsis should be thrown in the river Nile so as to return to the ‘home of origin’- in Abyssinia (today Ethiopia).
The professors said that this is the shame that they have lived with. They say their colleagues’ actions are not representative of the principles of the intellectual community.
Professor Silas Lwakabamba, the NUR rector, says that the university has established a center for conflict management as a way of addressing issues of genocide ideology through research.
The State Minister of Education Dr. Mathias Harebamungu said that it is through research that the university students can change the historical impressions written by some books authored by colonialists in Rwanda.
“This university, the intellectuals we have, and the future of education is the basis we have to do research and rewrite the right history of Rwanda,” he says. “In this way, we should be able to show them that our future is bright.”
The minister was referring to authors like Mackey, Shannon de l’Arche, Phillip Regence, among others.
The university community also reburied the remains of 15 genocide victims killed during the genocide that took place within the university community. The remains were given a decent burial at the university genocide memorial site, located on the campus. This number adds to the already 550 remains laid at the site.