Nomination of the next group of Rwandans to be recognised for their exemplary work in promoting unity and reconciliation among Rwandans has been set for August.
The exercise was announced by the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) during a consultative meeting on the Rwanda Reconciliation Barometer in Kigali, on Thursday.
It is organised in conjunction with the City of Kigali and the Unity Club, an association that brings together current and former cabinet members and their spouses.
The “Protectors of Friendship Pact,” locally known as “Abarinzi b’igihango,” are recognised for their exceptional work in their communities.
The selection is done in communities, right from the cell level to the district.
Abarinzi b’igihango are those Rwandans or foreigners who showed unmatched deeds in promoting national unity and reconciliation at the climax of Rwanda’s dark periods starting from the 1990 Liberation Struggle to the multiparty period, Genocide and post-genocide, resurgence war to Gacaca courts.
Speaking during the meeting, Fidèle Ndayisaba, the executive secretary of NURC, reminded participants that the recognition is meant to inspire others and to pass their legacy to the next generations.
He also shared the history of Rwandans right from the colonial period to the Genocide and the post-Genocide, highlighting the absence of unity and peace as what led to the Genocide against Tutsi in 1994.
“Today, we are here to share the report on how much Rwandans have understood the value of unity and reconciliation. However, the highlight is to set the month to nominate those people who have tirelessly worked for others and changed their communities. Our experience forces us to recognise those people as champions,” Ndayisaba said.
“We believe them as the examples of what Rwandans can achieve, and have great hope in them that through them, others can emulate them and help promote the country’s values and contribute to the reconstruction of the nation focusing on ensuring sustainable development,” he added.
Meanwhile, the 2016 reconciliation barometer stands at 92.5 per cent compared to 82.3 per cent in 2010. The target is to achieve 95 per cent by the end of 2017, Ndayisaba said.
The report also highlights some of the challenges in the unity and reconciliation journey and reccommend what should be done next.