President Clinton backs Rwanda programme

September 1, 2006

President Clinton has highlighted the commitment of Interpeace and its Rwandan partner, the Institute of Research and Dialogue (IRDP) to building lasting peace, twelve years after the genocide killed nearly a million Tutsi and some moderate Hutu.

At the Second Annual Clinton Global initiative the President praised the work of the organisations, remarking that ‚Äúhe knew of no country that has been braver in coming to grips with its sad history or one that is making more progress more quickly‚ÄĚ.

His remarks came as the Executive Secretary of the IRDP, Professor Pierre Rwandyindo, the President of Interpeace Governing Council, Matthias Stiefel, its Director-General, Scott Weber and Chair of its Governing Council, the former President of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari, signed a commitment to consolidating peace.

The two organisations will build on their existing work to foster reconciliation through dialogue by setting up permanent fora for debate at the local, provincial and national levels over the next three years.

These fora, known as ‚Äúuruvugiro‚ÄĚ will address the problems of rebuilding, how to strengthen democracy, the rule of law, the fight against genocidal ideologies and poverty.

According to Pierre Rwandyindo ‚Äúthere is a whole new generation of Rwandans and it is up to parents to tell the truth, and the government must do everything possible to support this. We need to change our behaviour so it is crucial that history is written and assessed properly. This is the legacy we must leave our children.‚ÄĚ

Since the IRDP began its work in 2001, some 800,000 Rwandans have confronted their past by speaking openly about the genocide, its impact on their lives and other critical issues that could hamper lasting peace.

‚ÄúFor those of us who have seen this in action… it is a truly moving experience” – Bill Clinton