15 Years Later, Rwanda Moves Toward Forgiveness

Rwandan wants his country to inspire world
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2009 4:46 PM CDT
15 Years Later, Rwanda Moves Toward Forgiveness
People from Mayange village, in Rwanda, sit and watch during a trial of a gacaca court. Rwanda relies on a traditional justice system known as gacaca to try those accused of genocide and other crimes.   (AP Photo/Riccardo Gangale.)

When Bishop John Rucyahana heard of the genocide wracking his native Rwanda in 1994, he did something unexpected: He returned home from Uganda. Since then, he has built schools for orphans and “reconciliation villages” where the genocide’s victims and perpetrators live together, Newsweek reports. “If Rwanda can recover from this,” Rucyahana says 15 years after the wave of violence swept his country, “other nations can recover.”

A woman who lost seven relatives in the genocide says “it was very difficult” to live next to a former génocidaire in one such village. "But now I forgive him." And for Rucyahana—who once found 27 dead bodies in a home—this is all part of God’s plan: "I think God is using this, the humility, the brokenness, the ashes, to set an example for other countries.”
(More Rwanda stories.)

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