In April 1994, Rwanda was caught up in a devastating genocide that resulted in the deaths of more than 800,000 people. The victims, mainly Tutsis and moderate Hutus, were systematically targeted by the extremist majority ethnicity – Hutus. A key suspect in the mass killings, Jean-Paul Kayishema, was recently arrested in South Africa after 22 years on the run. His arrest was welcomed by many who hope that he will be brought to justice for his alleged crimes.
As part of the commemoration of the genocide, an exhibition in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, is focusing on showcasing the stories of some of the victims through family photographs. These photos provide a powerful reminder of the human suffering inflicted by the killers and serve as a solemn reminder of the horror of the genocide.
For many Rwandans, Jean-Paul Kayishema’s arrest brings both joy and sadness. On the one hand, they are glad that he has been apprehended and that justice may finally be served. On the other hand, they are saddened by the fact that he has evaded capture for so long and that many of those responsible for the genocide never faced any form of punishment.
The prosecution of genocide suspects is a complex process, involving many legal challenges and complexities. As such, it is often difficult to bring perpetrators to justice and ensure that they are held accountable for their crimes. However, Kayishema’s arrest shows that it is possible to pursue justice even decades after a crime has been committed and serves as an important example for other countries pursuing similar cases.
The exhibition in Kigali also provides an important opportunity to remember the victims of the genocide. Through these photos, we can gain an insight into the lives of the victims and understand the great loss that Rwandans suffered. It also serves as a stark reminder of why we must never forget the past and why all countries need to remain vigilant in the fight against genocide.