16 April 2018

Rwanda: Police Officer Daniel Nyamwasa Releases Book on Rwandan Identity

Photo: New Times
Dr Daniel Nyamwasa and Dr Jean Damascene Gasanabo, the moderator (left).

Commissioner of Police Dr Daniel Nyamwasa released his second book on Saturday in which he interrogates what pushed one section of Rwandans to kill fellow citizens with whom they lived together in peace and harmony for at least 856 years before colonialism.

Organised by the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), the book launch, which took place during Café Littéraire -- a reading session -- at Kigali Convention Centre, was attended by First Lady Jeannette Kagame, among other senior officials.

Nyamwasa, who has previously headed Kigali Forensic Laboratory under Rwanda National Police, was born in 1957 in Rwanda, and two years later, his parents briefly flew the country and returned in 1961 but went back to exile the same year following persistent persecution against the Tutsi.

He joined the RPF-Inkotanyi after 31 years in exile to offer his contribution toward the struggle to liberate the country.

Titled "Le mal rwandais", which literally translates as "the Rwandan Evil", the book, written in French, narrates how Rwandans were neither considered as nationals in exile, nor recognised as Rwandans back home.

"We had no identity and that thing pushed me to narrate our situation at the time. I would ask myself why my neighbour and I were in exile. Before the colonial era, Rwandans had lived in harmony for centuries, without conflict, they intermarried, shared the same religion; so I kept on asking myself what pushed them to hate each other," Nyamwasa said during an interview.

The author says that he also wanted to know why the international community crossed arms as the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi claimed over a million people, wondering if this would have been the case had it happened elsewhere.

"That is the reason why I wrote this book for the future generations for them to know the truth, whether they are in Rwanda or overseas," he added, saying that he has been working on the book for several years.

"I don't understand why they (international community) failed to intervene. Only the RPF, with a small and ill-equipped force, managed to stop the Genocide. Of course, it was a matter of life and death for us (RPF) but the only necessary thing was to save lives," he added.

Nyamwasa says nothing will help the country grow faster than the unity of its people.

Costing Rwf17,000 (17 euros), the book is available at Caritas and Ikirezi bookshops in Kigali, and online.

It is also on the shelves of Kigali Genocide Memorial in Gisozi and at the National Liberation Museum at Parliament in Kimihurura.

The book will be translated into English in a few months, according to the author.


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