In the past two weeks, you have read some stories on this website about “Genocide and Mass Atrocities: Causes, Actors and responses.”
The short course which was organized by the AEGIS Trust through its Kigali Genocide Memorial Peace School was in line with helping participants to have critical thinking so they can become part of the Genocide prevention.
The five-day course featured: (1) lectures by Rwandan and non-Rwandan academics and practitioners; (2) facilitated experience-sharing and, (3) field visits.
The class was attended by over 30 academics, teachers, trainers, policymakers and practitioners from various country including Kenya, Burundi, Canada, Bosnia, Canada, Rwanda among many others.
After the course, TOPAFRICANEWS.COM interviewed Dr. Felix Mukwiza Ndahinda, the Director of Aegis Trust’s Research, Policy and Higher Education (RPHE) on various questions arose throughout the course.
Apart from his task at AEGIS Trust, Dr. Ndahinda is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Rwanda’s Law School. He was formerly an Assistant Professor at Tilburg Law School’s International Victimology Institute Tilburg (INTERVICT/ Tilburg University/ the Netherlands) from 2009-2015.
He holds a PhD from Tilburg University (2009) and an LLM from the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights (Sweden-2006).
His academic interests cover transitional Justice, peacebuilding, politics of identification (identity, ethnicity, and nationalism), minority and indigenous issues.
He authored several of publications covering these themes, including: Indigenousness in Africa: A Contested Legal Framework for Empowerment of ‘Marginalized’ Communities (Springer/Asser Press, 2011).
TOPAFRICANEWS: Why AEGIS organized this course?
Dr. Ndahinda: The course has a dual purpose: contribute to the capacity building activities of the Aegis Trust for the Rwandan research, policy-making and practitioner communities and, contribute to genocide prevention mandate of the organisation by providing participants with knowledge and insights on dynamics of genocide and mass atrocities, actors, causes and responses to such atrocities.
The latter part on responses is particularly important for practitioners and policy-makers who make the majority of participants
TOPAFRICANEWS: What were expectations and how active were participants?
Dr. Ndahinda: We expected a good and actively involved group of participants from different walks of life and our expectations were met
TOPAFRICANEWS: One Teacher told us that some of colleagues Jump the Genocide Subject due to lack of enough Knowledge on Genocide. What is you comment on this?
Dr. Ndahinda: It is unfortunate that this is the case. I was not surprised though since Rwandan history was not taught for much of the post-genocide years. This suggests that many teachers today did not learn much about Rwandan history they are expected to teach. Capacity building for teachers at all levels is very much needed.
TOPAFRICANEWS: Genocide and Mass atrocities. What is the difference?
Dr. Ndahinda: Genocide is a specific crime, legally defined. It is a form of mass atrocity. But there are other mass atrocities that are not genocides. That would be the simpler explanation
TOPAFRICANEWS: What would be the role of Historians, Academics and Media in prevention of future tragic events in Rwanda?
Dr. Ndahinda: They have to do their respective work with integrity in informing their audiences with accurate and impartial information.
TOPAFRICANEWS: Do you think reparation in form of money is important taking into consideration the context of Rwanda and Genocide against Tutsi?
Dr. Ndahinda: All depends on those who are owed reparations. They are the ones to determine what form of reparation does indeed attempt to repair the harm done to them. This is valid for Rwanda and elsewhere. And monetary reparations are generally part of the demands by some victims.
TOPAFRICANEWS: Suggest tangible solutions to prevent future tragic events like what happened in Rwanda in 1994
Dr. Ndahinda: Education, accurate information and critical thinking are key to the process.
NB: There are some other questions left aside due to the fact that this website’s reporter is still working on his own research about Genocide and Mass atrocities and we assure our audience to have more stories on this topic. Keep your attention on www.topafricanews.com.
Follow us on Twitter here: TOPAFRICANEWS ON TWITTER405