On September 21, Rwanda will join the rest of the world to mark the International Day of Peace with the main focus on having cohesive families, according to the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC).
The United Nations themed this day: “Together for peace, respect, safety and dignity for all”, but Rwanda broadened the theme to: “Together for peace, promoting the values of respect and dignity through peaceful families”.
According to Fidèle Ndayisaba, the Executive Secretary of NURC, this year is dedicated to peace among families because the lack of peace in families is the reason behind many troubles across the world.
“When families do not embrace peace, that is when we start seeing people abandoning their own families. We intend to promote unity in the home and protect children against segregation and genocide ideology,” Ndayisaba said during a news conference Thursday.
The commission says that various reports revealed that genocide ideology was still present among young people because families have failed in their role.
A recent report by the commission indicated that 25 per cent of the Rwandan population still embrace genocide ideology.
Ndayisaba added that segregation was a criminal offence punishable by over five years in jail and a fine of more than a million francs.
The celebrations will be marked by a dialogue in the Chamber of Deputies where different government officials, and its partners will meet the youth from around the country.
Dr Eric Ndushabandi, the Director of the Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace (IRDP), said the nature of conflicts in Rwandan families is complex.
“There are certain traditional practices that should be uprooted from our culture because they seem to hinder the process of reconciliation or building a sustainable peace. Families lack communication amongst members, couples do not get along on certain issues which results into children not having help from their parents, and so on,” Ndushabandi said.
Rwanda will also commemorate Reconciliation Week starting on October 1.