13.07.07 - RWANDA/GENOCIDE - THE SURVIVORS' CENSUS WAS A FAILURE (IBUKA)

Kigali, 13 July 2007(FH) - The general census of the survivors of the 1994 genocide carried out last April was a failure and must be redone, declared Friday the president of Ibuka (Remember), the principal organization which defends their interests.

 

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Theodore Simburudari, who expressed himself on Radio Rwanda, indicated that this census had been improperly conducted up to "50%".

Explaining the reasons of the failure, Mr. Simburudari estimated that "the population was not sufficiently sensitized for this census and the local authorities were not implicated enough."

This observation was made at a two day evaluation meeting held at the beginning of the week at the Iwacu center of Kabusunzu in Kigali city.

During this meeting, the Secretary of State in charge of social affairs, Christine Nyatanyi, whose department had initiated this census, had actually stated that there were "unsatisfactory data" due to information distortion and an insufficient implication of the local authorities.

Ordinary citizens would have pretended to be survivors, in the hope of obtaining financial assistance. A rumour in regard to this had circulated.

This census aims, rather, to create a national plan in order to assist the needy in general, including the survivors of the genocide, specified the president of IBUKA and the Secretary of State.

Carried out by the villages' leaders (Umudugudu), this census hastily launched, according to several observers, had been criticized already at its onset by IBUKA. The villagers' leaders were voluntary workers.

Census agents and the local authorities are, now, in training with the aim of redoing the census.

For some observers, a problem remains : should the survivors only be Tutsis who survived the massacres, or should the also vulnerable group of Hutus who fought the genocide ideology be included ?

SRE/MM/AT

© Hirondelle News Agency