Trauma remains high among Rwandan genocide survivors, says official

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Rwandan genocide survivors

Kigali –   The number of 1994’s Rwandan genocide survivors suffering from trauma is still high, requiring collective efforts to address the issue, an official of Rwandan National Commission for the Fight against Genocide said on Friday.

Executive Secretary of the Commission, Jean-Damascene Bizimana, said this at the 16th National Dialogue, locally known as “Umushyikirano,” in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda.

At least 27.9 per cent of the genocide survivors have trauma, who were seeking healing from different areas such as traditional healers, church and health counselors, Bizimana said.

He appealed to those suffering from trauma to seek help from health counselors even when prayers can also work.

He also said genocide ideology, especially from outside the country, genocide trivialisation and cultivating ethnic divisions in children by parents were among the challenges the commission tried to address.

The 1994 genocide claimed about one million lives, mainly ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus, in a period of 100 days.

The two-day meeting chaired by Rwandan President Paul Kagame brings together members of the cabinet and parliament, representatives of the Rwandan community abroad, local government, civil society organisation and diplomatic mission.

The agenda of the annual meeting on the second day focused on preservation of the memory of genocide, among other things. (Reuters/NAN)

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