A delegation from the USC Shoah Foundation, based in the United States, together with a delegation from Agahozo Shalom Youth Village visited the Gacaca Archives to learn about the process of digitising the more than 63 million pages of records from the Gacaca Courts.
USC Shoah Foundation is an institute for visual history and education. It also makes audio-visual interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides. They visited the Gacaca Archives to learn about the work to preserve the memory of Gacaca Courts since their conclusion in 2012.
The delegation was met by the Director General of the Research and Documentation Centre on Genocide from Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), Dr. Jean-Damascène Gasanabo. Giving a brief history of the archives, Dr. Gasanabo said that the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide and its partners have been preserving and creating a world-class archive for the estimated 63 million pages of documents and more than 8,000 pieces of audio visual content. This work has been ongoing over the last three years.
Stressing the importance of the Gacaca archives as a tool for research and learning about the Genocide against the Tutsi, Dr. Gasanabo thanked the USC Shoah Foundation and Aegis Trust as partners for making this project a reality.
“On behalf of CNLG and Rwanda, I would like to appreciate all your support in terms of expertise and finance to create and sustain something like this, which I consider as a vital legacy to all Rwandans,” said Dr. Gasanabo.
Yves Kamuronsi, Country Director of Aegis Trust, expressed how honoured the organisation feels to be part of a project with indispensable significance to Rwanda and the world.
“Aegis Trust aims to warn the world of the threat of genocide and build the political will to take preventive action against mass atrocities. We are proud to contribute and will continue to give our support to such a project that preserves the memory of the Genocide against the Tutsi for many generations to come,” Mr. Kamuronsi said.
He added that as time passes and technology develops, families would be able to search for the records of their loved ones. He said that the Gacaca Archives would help to answer their questions because it contains details of when and how victims of the Genocide were killed and where their bodies were buried.
The Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation, Dr. Steven Smith, appreciated the great work that has been done by both CNLG and Aegis Trust to preserve and digitise the Gacaca Archives. He promised continuous collaboration for the success of the project and stressed the necessity to preserve a very important aspect of Rwandan history.
To learn more about the project to archive the Gacaca Court records, visit www.gacaca.rw.