BUJUMBURA February 23rd (ABP) – The Burundi-Tugenderubuntu Initiatives and Change Association, in company with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), organized a two-day workshop in Bujumbura on Wednesday February 21, 2018, for stakeholders and leaders of political parties and journalists, on the theme: “The importance of memory management: choosing to build a strategic memory for reconciliation”.
Brother Emmanuel Ntakarutimana said in his presentation that the workshop is part of other workshops that have been going on since last year, where the importance of the issue and the management of memory have progressively been their concern. For him, if we want to open up to transitional justice mechanisms, it is very important to revisit the issue of memory and the management of it according to the historical wounds that one or the other may have accumulated following the violence of the past, the crimes, and the massive violations of human rights that have marked the country at various stages in a massive and often repetitive manner.

Brother Ntakarutimana recalled that since last year, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has already organized five workshops on this theme and they have been able to put together different socio-professional categories, including political actors and leaders of political parties, the media representatives, senior commanders of the National Defense Force (FDN), the Burundi National Police (PNB) and the National Intelligence Service (SNR). The most recent of those workshops has resulted in joint exchanges between politicians and representatives of the commanders of the defense and security forces, he added.

According to Mr. Ntakarutimana, all these workshops have shown how this issue of memory management is of crucial importance if Burundi wants to break with the spiral of violence induced by painful memories.

He said that during that workshop, it will be a question of treating three themes. In a first place, he said, “out of love for this country, we must choose to build a strategic memory for reconciliation, which requires a great deal of work on ourselves, each one as far as we are concerned all together, “he said.

On the other hand, Mr. Ntakarutimana said that participants will have to return to the depth of the history of Burundi as Burundian people, a story which, according to him, has a strong identity burden marked by massive violence and massacres, this in a cyclical and repetitive way. “This has inevitably developed injuries and traumas that we must take into account in developing a progressive healing mechanism,” he said.

At the last moment, he added, there will be talk of memory as a political act of great importance. For Brother Ntakarutimana, the question of memory is a crucial one. Every human community operates on the capitalization of the various events that mark its historical route and which are gradually constituted as cultural archives, he said, adding that knowing how to manage memory wisely marks the greatness of Statesmen.

It is due love and passion for this country that Burundians must ensure that what happened is not repeated, said Mr. Ntakarutimana.

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