29.10.07 - RWANDA/SURVIVORS - THE NUMBER OF GENOCIDE SURVIVORS ESTIMATED AT MORE THAN 300 000

Arusha, 29 October 2008 (FH) - The number of genocide survivors still alive in Rwanda would be at 327 555 persons, it was learned Monday, according to a census published on the site of the national service for the gacaca courts (SNJG).   
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According to this census, the genocide, which resulted in a million victims according to Rwandan figures, 800 000 according to United Nations, left 27 733 widows, 74 642 orphans and 12 074 disabled persons. The census gives the number of victims by sectors and districts. No date is specified on the operations of accounting of these populations.
 
The census of genocide often sparked problems and debates. Thus, last April, a census was announced by the Ministry for Local Government and the National Statistics Office. It had as objective to draw up an exhaustive list of genocide survivors and to determine who were really indigent and eligible to various assistance programs. Its provisional results were awaited in June. The previous census went back to 1998, its figures no longer corresponded with those of survivor associations, which had effects on the planning and the strategies of assistance to the poor.

The head of the remembrance department at Ibuka, Naphtal Ahishakiye, had then affirmed in an interview with the Hirondelle agency that "all is in place" to arrive at results which do not correspond with reality. He, in particular, expressed fears that false survivors would corrupt the census takers to be registered with an aim of profiting from assistance. "It is not astonishing that we will soon be nearly 4 million", he had joked. In July, as the figures had not been published, the Ibuka president, Theodore Simburudari, had repeated on Radio Rwanda that "50%" of this census had been badly done.
 
According to a presidential decree of November 1998, "a survivor is any person who survived the crimes of genocide, committed between 1 October 1990 and 31 December 1994, in order to exterminate an ethnic group or any person whose ideas, those of members of their family or their own, fought the genocide ideology".

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