TANZANIA - The Rwandan Diaspora community in Tanzania, on Wednesday, drummed up support for survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis, calling on the international community to particularly pay attention to trauma victims.
Commemoration events were held simultaneously in Dar es Salaam and Arusha, where several speakers emphasized the need to put an end to efforts to deny the Genocide as well as fighting against impunity.
“Most people think that trauma can be cured only through counselling. But unless we do more than just counselling, the trauma remains intact,” the EAC Deputy Secretary General (Planning and Infrastructure), Alloys Mutabingwa said in Arusha.
He noted that healing trauma remains a major national challenge in Rwanda, adding that some victims today live in intense fear which deters them from concentrating on developmental activities.
Mutabingwa, took a swipe at the international media and Non Governmental Organizations, which he said, knew about the real cause of the Genocide, but continued to describe it as a civil war between polarized ethnic groups.
“They disregarded and misreported the fact that the killings were state orchestrated, systematic and targeted defenceless ethnic Tutsis,” he said.
Geraldine Umugwaneza, the president of the Diaspora Community in Arusha, called for an continuous fight against attempts to deny or distort the historical truth of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
“Various individuals and groups continue to deny the Genocide against Tutsi and spend millions of money annually on public relations campaigns and lobbying to this end,” she said.
“We have said, we are saying and we shall always say, never again, to any attempt to commit Genocide in Rwanda or in this region or elsewhere.”
In Dar es Salaam, a Walk to Remember was held as part of commemoration which saw more than 200 people walk from New World Cinema in Mwenge area to Mlimani City conference centre.
The commemoration event, graced by Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Bernard Membe, climaxed into a candle lighting ceremony.
A subsequent statement from Fatuma Ndangiza, Rwanda’s High Commission to Tanzania, said that other planned activities for the commemoration week include a public lecture to be held at the University of Dar-es-Salaam.
Here, a paper will be presented on “the individual dimension of the Genocide in Rwanda. A case for compensation of victims” Another presentation will be made by the director of Peace and Love Proclaimers, Rwanda, on the role of the youth in fighting against Genocide.