Over 3,000 people from 400 organisations under Rwanda Civil Society Platform, Friday gathered at Amahoro Stadium to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi which claimed over a million people, including more than 100 employees of the platform.
This is the first time the platform joins the rest of Rwandans in commemorating the victims as one entity something that was welcomed by Ibuka, the Umbrella organization for Genocide survivors’ organisations.
Government officials who included the Minister for Local Government, Francis Kaboneka and Julienne Uwacu, Minister for Sports and Culture, attended the event which featured lectures about the history of Genocide, a minute of silence, and lighting a flame of remembrance.
Delivering a lecture on the Genocide ideology, Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana, the Executive Secretary for the National Commission for the fight against Genocide (CNLG), said ideology was still presentin the minds of some perpetrators, adding that civil society should play a significant role to join the government in fighting it completely.
Kaboneka condemned civil society members who participated in the genocide Against the Tutsi and also challenged platform to change that bad history.
“We gather together today to commemorate and celebrate the achievements of the country. We are happy that the Genocide was stopped by RPF Inkotanyi without any support from foreign countries,” he said.
“We should strive for heroism.RPF Inkotanyi is a good example to imitate. We should remember by fighting anyone who misinterprets our history.”
Eduard Munyamariza, chairperson of Rwanda Civil Society Platform, said it was time the civil society fulfilled their responsibilities and partnered with the government to build a peaceful country.
The platform committed to learn the history of the Genocide, explain it to Rwandans, particularly the younger generation to avoid its misinterpretation, support and advocate for Genocide survivors.
They also committed to sign a memorandum of understanding with the National Commission for the fight against Genocide (CNLG) to foster the fight against Genocide ideology, and include articles of fighting it in their internal regulations.