Center of History and Cultural Anthropology
Institute for African Studies of The Russian Academy of Sciences
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The Alexander Panov's trip to the Great Lakes region

5th April – 5th May the trip of J.R.F. of The Centre for History and Cultural Anthropology Alexander Panov to the states of Great African Lakes region has been performed.
The main purpose of the trip was the participation in events of the “Kwibuka 20” cycle, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Tutsi genocide in 1994 in Rwanda. So A. Panov took part in the work of International Forum “After the Genocide: Examining Legacy, Taking Responsibility” which was held in the Rwandan Parliament’s building in Kigali, 4th – 6th April. On the forum the guests and delegates could listen to the presentations from politicians, public figures, intellectuals, journalists from Rwanda, France, USA, Great Britain, Germany, as well as participate in following debates and discussion.
7th April A. Panov visited all-nation ceremony of commemoration for the victims of genocide in the Amahoro Stadium in Kigali. The same evening in Kigali was held the “Walk to Remember” - the recent tradition installed by Rwandan youth when the thousands of predominantly young Rwandans and their foreign friends walk from the Parliament building to Amahoro Stadium where once again the speeches of Rwandan politicians and public figures as well as their guests from abroad can be listened. A number of Rwandan artists performed the songs of lyric and patriotic styles. In contrast with the main event of this day “Walk to Remember” is lesser formal and official but rather warm and intimate act of national solidarity and demonstration of unity.


Also have been visited such other remarkable events as Café Littéraire (public meeting of writers from many African countries who put attention to the Tutsi genocide in their works, like Boubakar Boris Diop from Senegal, Scholastique Mukasonga from Rwanda, Veronique Tadjo from Cote d’Ivoire and many others), the presentation of play “Rwanda 94” performed by the Belgian art group “Groupov”, and also presentation of the book of French researcher Serge Farnel “Bisesero: Le ghetto de Varsovie rwandais”. In his last book Farnel, basing on the documents and interviews with eyewitnesses and survivors, proceeds with introduction of the story of Tutsi’s rebellion in the days of genocide in Bisesero hills and sheds the light on the role of French military troops in its suppression. Some Bisesero’s survivors were invited to the presentation where they could share their feelings and memories about personal experience of resistance to the army and extremist militia’s fighters as well as famous Rwandan writer Yolande Mukagasana, who has also presented her last book “The UN and the Sorrow of a Negress” (“L’Onu et le chagrin d’une négresse”).
Beyond of Rwanda A. Panov has also visited Goma (North Kivu, DRC) and Republic of Burundi, two other countries suffered from the prolonged armed conflict in the Great Lakes region, where social and politic situation has been also observed. During the trip a number of meetings with a civil society activists and competent persons in Rwanda and Burundi have been realized.
The collected during the trip data will be analyzed and used in the following works and papers.
Alexander Panov and The Institute for African Studies of RAS express their gratitude to the Embassy of Republic of Rwanda in Russian Federation and personally to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary H. E. Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujavamariya for their comprehensive assistance in the trip’s arrangement.