• Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Telling the truth without evasions is the only remedy for the wounds of the past and the only true basis of social cohesion


Sep 12, 2023

RUYIGI September 12th   (ABP) – The Catholic diocese of Ruyigi celebrated the annual festival dedicated to justice and peace, on Sunday September 10, 2023. The ceremonies took place at the parish of Kinyinya and were enhanced by the presence of certain high authorities of the country, including Parliamentarians and Senators native to that diocese, ministers, representatives of the truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) and the bishop of the Catholic diocese of Ruyigi, Mgr Blaise Nzeyimana.

Three citizens who participated in the 1993 massacres took advantage of that opportunity to testify about their role in these massacres and asked for forgiveness from the families of the victims.

Bishop Nzeyimana called on the people of Ruyigi to definitively abandon the vengeful culture which has caused several cycles of crime in Burundi, to heal the wounds of the past.

Those ceremonies marking the 19th annual festival were celebrated on the theme formed in Kirundi, which can be translated into French as “Let us tell each other the truth and reconcile, to untie the bonds of the spirits trapped in our painful past”. They began with the laying of wreaths and the blessing of a common grave, where more than thirty people were buried, murdered during the 1993 crisis, located a hundred meters away, in the eastern part of this parish.

They were continued by the celebration of Sunday mass in the parish hall. During his homily, the Bishop of Ruyigi called on the people of his diocese in particular and all Burundians in general, to no longer practice the culture of revenge which characterized them especially for the entire post-independence period and which led to cycles of violence which resulted in civil war from 1993 to 2004.

According to that clerical authority, all those crimes and blunders which have occurred one after the other in Burundi stem from a certain old mentality anchored in the culture and which gives the illusion to an individual that the neighbor is the source of the evils which befall the community.

                                                                                  One of the witnesses to the massacres

For the feedback, the offended person remains silent and seeks revenge with much more difficulty to inflict more pain and the violence can follow an indeterminate cycle, the prelate underlined.

The TRC was also represented during those ceremonies. Pastor Elie Nahimana, commissioner within this institution, expressed thanks to the diocese of Ruyigi, for this opportunity given each year to Burundian citizens for reconciliation based on the expression of the truth about the past which shook Burundi, during all his painful periods. He also called on the different dioceses of this church and even other religions working in Burundi, to follow in the footsteps of this diocese.

The advisor in charge of legal affairs in Ruyigi province, Mr. Mathias Sindoraniwe, representative of the provincial administration, congratulated the Catholic Church in general and the Ruyigi diocese in particular, for having initiated such an opportunity intended to untie the captive minds of past crimes and live a brighter future among neighbors.

However, he stressed that each citizen is responsible for his or her actions and for any blunder or harm caused to society, those who feel wronged, with tangible proof showing the injustice that has been inflicted on them, can also take action referring to the appropriate bodies and file a complaint to be restored to your rights.