The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was not an accident of history but rather a well conceived, planned and meticulously executed act of the state machinery that had military and political power to mobilise mass murder.
This observation was made by Rwanda’s High Commissioner to the UK, Ernest Rwamucyo, in his speech during one of the series of events organised to mark the 16th commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi in the United Kingdom.
Rwandans in West Midlands (Coventry and Birmingham) under their umbrella organisation West Midlands Rwandese Community Association (WMRCA) turned up in large numbers to a ceremony that started with a peaceful match in Birmingham City in remembrance of those who perished in the Genocide.
WMRCA members were joined by representatives of Rwandans living in other parts of the United Kingdom, members of the Burundian Diaspora, friends of Rwanda and representatives of non-governmental organizations in the UK including Survivors Fund (SURF) and Hope Foundation as well as staff of the High Commission.
Activities to mark the commemoration included multi-faith prayers in memory of those who were killed led by Bishop J. Ruhumuliza assisted by Sheikh Hassan Karangwa, candle lighting, recitation of poems and songs depicting the horrors that Rwandans lived through, and a touching play on the difficulties endured by child-headed families.
Ruhumuliza seized the opportunity to call upon all to denounce and castigate Genocide deniers saying that it is appalling and inconceivable that there are people who still deny that there was Genocide, many hiding behind academia and posing as experts on Rwanda.
He emphasized that despite its tragic past, Rwanda has become a country that symbolizes the dawn of a new and brighter future for the African continent, as a model for economic growth, social and political management.
The Bishop highlighted major achievements that the country has registered in economic growth, infrastructure development, health and education including significant strides in national unity and reconciliation.
Appolinaire Kageruka, the chairman of WMRCA, called on all Rwandans in the United Kingdom to continue supporting Genocide survivors overcome trauma.