Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rwanda: Archbishop blocked shooting of Genocide movie

BY EDWIN MUSONI

The New Times-Kigali
April 30, 2009

Photo:
Archbishop Thaddeus Ntihinyurwa (C) at a church service at St Michel Cathedral recently (File Photo)

KIGALI - Government officials have condemned the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Rwanda, Archbishop Thaddée Ntihinyurwa, for blocking the shooting of a Genocide movie at a church.

The clergyman is alleged to have frustrated the shooting of the movie at St Famille Church arguing that although people were killed in the Church, it remains a holy place.

Addressing members of parliament on Tuesday, the Minister of Sports and Culture Joseph Habineza accused religious leaders of not facilitating the government in recognizing those who were massacred in churches.

“There is a time a group of filmmakers came to make a movie about the Genocide that took place at St Famille Church, the team was prevented by Ntihinyurwa,” said Habineza.

“The movie makers came to me requesting for my intervention to convince the Archbishop, but when I approached him he refused to give them the go ahead.”

According to Habineza, the Bishop told the filmmakers that although the killings took place at the premises of St Famille, he had prayed for the place so it was no longer scarred by the Genocide.

He however added that it was not only Ntihinyurwa who made such claims, but there were many others.

Habineza however did not mention in name other religious leaders who had previously acted like Ntihinyurwa but he emphasized that they were there.

Previous reports have also alleged that Ntihinyurwa played part in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

In 2005 he was summoned by Gacaca and subjected to intense and prolonged questioning about how much he knew of plans to kill Tutsis in 1994.

By then the Gacaca court was accusing Ntihinyurwa of attending meetings that planned the Genocide in the former Cyangugu prefecture now Western Province when he was the Bishop in the area.

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