AFRICAN STUDENTS at the Egypt-based Senghor University on Wednesday joined Rwandans to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, in which over a million people perished.
The commemoration event, organised by Emmanuel Nyandwi, the lone Rwandan student at the Alexandria-based university in partnership with students’ representatives and the university management, attracted many friends of Rwanda amongst the university students community and staff members.
Participants heard the history of the Genocide and the recovery journey that the country has undergone since the end of the massacres two decades ago.
At the event, students from Tchad, Benin, Haiti and the Comoros staged a play portraying how the Genocide was carried out and the transformational journey Rwanda has embarked on in the last two decades.
A student from Guinea Conakry also recited an emotive and powerful poem in honour of the Genocide victims.
Speaking at the commemoration event, participants called upon African countries to join Rwandans as they remember the 1994 tragedy and seek to learn from Rwanda’s pogrom tragic past and its transformation journey.
Simone Toussi, from Cameroun, said by joining Rwandans to remember the Genocide against the Tutsi, Africans would draw immense lessons that will culminate in policies and ideas that champion unity, peace and development.
“Africa continues to experience ethnic conflicts which are many times caused by trivial issues,” Toussi said.
“Taking time to reflect on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda can enable our countries to draw lessons and foster harmony, unity and reconciliation,” he added.
Abdul Omate, a student from Chad, urged African leaders to dedicate a special day (or days) in honour of those who perished during the 100-day 1994 pogrom.
“The Genocide is not a particular history of Rwanda but rather our history as human beings. We ought to learn from it,” Omate noted.
Dr Jean Francois Fau, the head of department of culture at the university, urged students to draw lessons from the Genocide and dedicate their skills, efforts and knowledge to ensuring that no Genocide ever happens in the world again.