Rwanda’s will and ability to prevent, deter, and respond to threats and ideologies of genocide calls for a long lasting campaign against genocide.
Today there is a growing interest in Rwanda, as many discover the horror that took place and seek to understand how and why violence of this character and magnitude could have happened in our time.
The spectre of genocide has never ceased to haunt Rwandan consciousness.
The 100 days of remembrance leaves us with complex and pressing questions to ponder and difficult answers as to why events occurred: How could the genocide happen? What kind of history could give rise to this violence? Why did the international community fail to intervene? How can Rwanda continue to re-build and avoid similar debacles? How can the ideology of hate be terminated in Rwanda?
These questions and many others have lingered in the minds of many Rwandans for the past two decades.
As we seek to answer the very complex question as to what led to the 1994 debacle, there is need for a paradigm shift from prejudice and bigotry to justice and tolerance – shifting from ideology of hate to that of love and bringing up good people that value humanity-- for the 1 million or so Rwandans who died is not a matter of abstract statistics.
We need to develop an early warning system within the museum to explore key aspects in designing and operating such a system.
Early pubic warning is a very critical component in the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities. The campaign against Genocide museum will enhance on how our governments’ approach in the critical matter of preventing the world’s worst crimes can be addressed.
We do not need to interact with the past on special occasions but we should always, and on a daily basis.
The past has to be part of us and this can be realized only through setting up a center/museum campaign against genocide that will go an extra mile to cover a wider perspective of the public about the past and disseminate factual evidence of the same.
Raise awareness of the causes and dynamics of genocide to advocate and mobilize for appropriate actions.
The campaign against genocide museum will be a living memorial of genocide in Rwanda that will inspire citizens and leaders worldwide on how to confront hatred, prevent genocide and promote human dignity.
The center for prevention of genocide teaches about the dangers of unchecked hatred and need to act by cultivating a sense of moral responsibility among our citizens.
Never again is a challenge to societies and for change to be it must come from the bottom up- the grass root. This will definitely lead to an improved public understanding of the past to create better citizens.
Translating our memories to actions requires an all-round interdisciplinary approach to citizens’ education – an approach that helps Rwandese move from thought to judgment to participation
Each individual state has got the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
With them Rwandans must remember – and pledge – that never again will we be indifferent to incitement and hate; never again will we be silent in the face of evil; never again will we indulge ethnicity; never again will we ignore the plight of the vulnerable; and never again will we be indifferent in the face of mass atrocity and impunity.
For unto each person there is a name, an identity; each person is a universe. As our sages tell us, “whoever saves a single life, it is as if he or she has saved an entire universe.”
Conversely, whoever has killed a person; it is as if they have killed an entire universe.
Thus, the abiding imperative: we are each, wherever we are the guarantors of each other’s destiny -- this is the only way that our memories can bear fruits of love, peace and harmony among Rwandans.
This shows that it is our obligation as Rwandans to write our own history – translate our thoughts into actions and participate in cultivating the ideology of love and pragmatism.
Most importantly participate and interact with the past, history does not have to always keep repeating itself.
We need to remember history and make history. Let the public be part of this tremendous change in our country as we build the future of this nation.
The campaign against genocide museum will create more good than harm to this country.