Meeting with the NURCís Director General Mr. Hilderbrand Kanzira, Alex Ingando, and Omar, the Acting Director of the Community Initiatives Programme
Rwanda has had a troubled past caused by internal division. It all began when the colonial administration divided the society along ethnic lines in order to weaken it and thereby make its dominance possible. The post-colonial Kayibanda and Habyarimana administrations intensified this policy of divide and rule, devising policies to marginalize and disenfranchise large sections of the community.
Upon assuming office, the Government of National Unity began the challenging task of reversing the effects of decades of division. A national commission charged with the responsibility of educating and mobilizing the population for unity and reconciliation was established in 1998. Since then the Unity and Reconciliation Commission has conducted seminars, debates and courses across the country aimed at fostering these ideals of reconciliation and re-building confidence and trust within and between communities.
Rwanda has already begun harvesting the dividends of its policy on unity and reconciliation. Across the country, rural and urban communities now live together in greater harmony and with more mutual respect than ever before. The March 1999 grassroots elections in which all Rwandans voted for leaders on the basis of merit not ethnicity, is a testament of the success of the unity and reconciliation programme