GACACA Archives Tipped for UNESCO Heritage List

Rwanda has commenced the process of registering genocide memorials on UNESCO heritage list. Albert Mutesa, the Secretary General of Rwanda National Commission for UNESCO, remarked that some documentary heritages which talk about Rwandan history are written and preserved in libraries.

He cited an example of Umuganura also called the National Harvest Day or Thanksgiving Day.

It is Rwanda’s traditional feast celebrating the first harvests. It is a means of assessing the harvest for the year and finding ways of doubling efforts for the coming year.

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Intore, the inherited style of traditional dance that is done using the rhythm of Rwandan drums and the moves of Rwandan dancers has also been suggested.

Rwandan has a very rich history that can be listed on the World Heritage List. The country’s committee will work on identifying existing documentary heritage to be registered on the Memory of the World program.

Beata Nyirabahizi, the Director General of National Library which is part of Rwanda Cultural Heritage Academy (RCHA), said that there are numerous documentary heritages that can be registered to UNESCO heritage listing.

A national committee composed of different institutions under the guidance of Rwanda National Commission for UNESCO, librarians, archivists, directors of memory institutions, historians, researchers, academics and individual resources from civil society, private and public institutions working or interested in historical, cultural and documentary heritages may register Gacaca Courts archives to UNESCO’s Documentary Heritage Listing.

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The UNESCO’s Memory of the World program was initiated in 1992 with the aim of preserving the richness of different states which were threatened by wars, inadequate preservation systems, illegal trading like the one for the Maya cultural statuettes, lack of resources, looting and dispersal, destruction among others.

Gacaca justice system officially closed in 2012, after trying more than 1.9 million Genocide crimes in ten years.  

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