Arusha, April 9, 2010 (FH)-Members of the Rwandan Diaspora in Arusha, northern Tanzania, are seriously concerned of trauma still haunting the Rwandan society, particularly the survivors, 16 years after the genocide against ethnic Tutsis.

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"It is a matter of serious concern for us. It is a big challenge to all Rwandans. We are ready to play our part to help solve the post-genocide problems," Geraldine Umugwaneza, the President of the Rwandan Community in Arusha told Hirondelle News Agency on Friday.

Umugwaneza is also the Deputy Registrar of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), which is based in Arusha.

"In the next three months our members in Arusha will have travelled individually to Rwanda to see for themselves which is the best intervention we can make on the ground" added Vice-President of the community, Noun Bandyandora, who works with the Arusha-based UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), trying key suspects of the 1994 genocide.

Most of the speeches delivered on Wednesday in Kigali and around the world, including that of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, focused on the post-genocide trauma now affecting the Rwandans.

In Arusha, the concern of Rwandan Head of State was also echoed by the former Special Representative of the Rwanda Government to the ICTR, Alloys Mutabingwa, currently a Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC), during a solemn occasion held at the Arusha International Conference (AICC) Hall. The occasion was attended by diplomatic corps, ICTR staff, Arusha residents and friends of Rwanda, among others.

"We should be able to understand how much trauma continues to affect the day-to-day life of the genocide victims to the extent of affecting their personal relationship with others," the Rwandan diplomat stated.

Mutabingwa appealed for concrete actions in order to change the day-to-day life of the survivors because, according to him, using only counseling may leave the problem "intact".

 "We can act together to restore hope to those victims who have lost hope of living a quality life," he stressed.

According to the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), about one third of Rwandans are traumatized by the 1994 genocide.

The most affected are the survivors but, even killers are haunted by what they did, according to the Minister for Youth and Culture, Joseph Habineza.

The most affected are youths between the ages of 15 to 22 years, according to the Habineza.


© Hirondelle News Agency