Eighty-nine international students from the Institute of Legal Practice and Development (ILPD), on Friday, paid tribute to the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi at Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, calling for global commitment to ensure that this crime does not happen again anywhere in the world.
The students, from seven African countries, namely; Ghana, Cameroon, South Sudan, Gambia, Kenya Uganda and Rwanda, are all pursuing a postgraduate diploma in Legal Practice at the Nyanza campus of the institute.
After touring the memorial site where over 250,000 Genocide victims were laid to rest, Rev. Sister Regina Ignatia Aflah, from Ghana, told Saturday Times: “It is so sad and I pray that it never happens anywhere again.”
She specifically implored the Catholic Church to play a significant role in ensuring that genocide never happens again.
Biel Boutros Biel, from South Sudan, said that visiting the memorial reminded him of what is happening in his own country, warning that it could eventually escalate to the magnitude of the Genocide in Rwanda if left unchecked.
“I stand in solidarity with the people of Rwanda for what happen to their beautiful country. I cried inside the memorial partly because it was a reminder for me that what happened in Rwanda could also happen in South Sudan,” he said.
Boutros thanked Rwanda for being proactive in matters peace and sending a peacekeeping contingent to his troubled country which he said is helping the civilian population.
He appealed to President Paul Kagame, who now chairs the African Union, to make South Sudan a priority in his agenda and ensure that the situation there does not deteriorate further.
Irene Kuganja, a Ugandan student with a Rwandan mother, said she felt pain as she toured the memorial.
“Before my own mother died, she used to tell me to love everyone. I have come to understand why she used to tell me that. We have to make sure this does not happen again and put peace and love at the centre of everything we do,” she said.
The rector of ILPD, Dr Didas Muganga Kayihura, said that the students are the full-time cohort of which 95 per cent are international students.