As Rwandans and the rest of the world begin the 24th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, several Rwandans think this is an opportunity to reflect on what the country has gone through to ensure a better future for the country.
Those who spoke to The New Times say it is important to involve younger generations in the commemoration activities and give their thoughts on the efforts to fight the Genocide ideology.
More sensitszation is still needed among the youth like me to ensure we fully participate in the commemoration events because of the importance they have on shaping the future of the country. I have seen fellow youth who pretend to know enough about the Genocide and don’t care to attend commemoration events which is wrong.
Peter Twizerimana, 23, a fruits vendor at Kimironko Market
I always attend commemoration events because I want to understand the history of our country as it is. The more I get to listen to our history, the more I find it disturbing as unbelievably bad things happened. But it is our history and there’s nothing I can change about it other than aim at preventing genocide reoccurrence.
Placide Mutuyimana, 21, a tailor in Kimisagara
When we say ‘Never Again’ we mean avoiding genocide reoccurrence, to do that one needs to know how it happened. It is, therefore, important to commemorate so that we can prevent it.
Emmanuel Nsigariye, 30, a cyclist in Kicukiro
I think if there was no commemoration, we would not be able to appreciate the strides our country has taken courtesy of unity and reconciliation as well as the development that came with it. We would take everything for granted. When I go to a commemoration event I come back filled with patriotism and a sense of responsibility to prevent the reoccurrence of genocide and genocide ideology.
Martin Karekezi, 24, a motorcyclist in based Nyamirambo
The youth are in a very good position. They don’t just despise ethnicity but also don’t have that time. This has been through the consistence of sharing the history of the Genocide and the country. The youth know how genocide came about and what to do to remain united. The youth should be taught the history of the country because I think if we were to forget our history we could easily return into the past mistakes that brought about genocide.
Gloria Uwamurera, a teacher in Gatsibo District
I don’t see any instance where Rwandans can be vulnerable to committing genocide again. When the Government is free of genocide ideology, the people follow suit too. I think the leadership has given us an excellent example on how to keep peace amongst ourselves.
Teddy Umwari, student at the Adventist University of Central Africa (AUCA)
My sons and daughter are always eager to take part in commemoration activities because they want to learn what happened to their country and draw lessons from it. They want to have more information from rather a collective source to add to what they know about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. I believe the young generation is on the right track.
Virginie Kakuze, 51, a vegetable vendor
We commemorate because it is a way to respect and honour our relatives, friends and fellow Rwandans who lost their lives.
Jumayi Bwiseri, 48, a driver
There is no hatred based on ethnicity among Rwandans. We have all attained the basic civilisation to know that we are all Rwandans and that we need to work together.
John Umutoni, 29, a cobbler
It’s essential to commemorate the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi because it allows us to reflect on the atrocities of the Genocide and drive us to fight genocide ideology. We’re on the right track. If we can go like this for the next two decades, we can be sure there will be no genocide again in our country. The other thing that proves that we have reached a good level of unity and reconciliation is in how the young choose their marriage partners without being led by ethnicity.
Leonard Mugiraneza, game ranger at Volcano National Park in Northern Province