A total of 50 genocide convicts who are serving their various sentences in Rubavu prison have sought apology from families whose relatives were killed during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
The event which took place in Nyundo sector, Rubavu district brought together hundreds of area residents and particularly 70 families who met 50 genocide convicts who are in prison because they killed relatives of the former leaving them orphans, widows and widowers.
The event is organized by Prison fellowship, a non-governmental organization seeking to ensure genocide perpetuators reconcile with genocide survivors and live in harmony.
Gaetan stood in front of the public and apologized for playing a big role in genocide of killing the tutsi in and having involved in other attacks that left many dead.
During the event, genocide survivors and perpetrators hugged each other after those whose relatives perished pardoned those who killed them.
Chairman of Ibuka in Rubavu district thanked Prison fellowship for the way they teach both parties and get reconciled after genocide survivors can forgive those who killed their relatives.
“As survivors, we have forgiveness but we don’t have people to forgive, those who are still in prison try their best but those who were released because they had completed their sentences are not coming to us to apologies, I personally have managed to offer pardons to those who seek them to me,” he said
CP Jean Bosco Kabanda, the commissioner in charge of correction and inmates rights, it speaks volume when genocide survivors can forgive those who killed their relatives 24 years ago.
“Those people who forgive you also live well with your families you left in society but you had hidden the truth in your hearts and even your families know nothing, it is not clear how genocide convicts are yet to apologize despite efforts to teach them about reconciliation,” he said
Prison fellowship works with RCS in reconciliation journey and since the program started thousands of people have reconciled and live in harmony in various parts of the country.