Remembering atrocities and crimes committed against the Tutsi in 1994 Genocide is important for the future of the country, the Minister for Justice, Johnson Businge, has said.
Businge was speaking in Gatsibo District at the weekend where he led a delegation of 100 Ministry of Justice (Minijust) staff to pay respects to Genocide victims at Kiziguro memorial site, a home to more than 14,000 victims.
Businge said the country’s ugly history would always be remembered, adding that remembrance was one way to commit to the ‘never again’ determination.
“We must keep on remembering, if we relax our memories will forget easily. We remember so that we avoid making the same mistakes we made before,” he said.
“It is unfortunate that we can’t change our past, but we can work on our future. Our past generation chose to impart hatred into the naïve minds of their children. Today, we can change; we can revive our unity as Rwandans before the eyes of our young generation. This is a responsibility we have,” Businge added.
The minister challenged the staff and lawyers in attendance to use their education beyond serving job description on personal goals, to help communities live in harmony.
“The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was an intellectual enterprise. The educated of the time used their knowledge to destroy humanity. It is the educated, opinion leaders and influential people that propagated hatred in this country. They used their intellect to justify the atrocities against the Tutsi. Today’s educated people must do the opposite,” he said.
Gatsibo District combines former Murambi, Muhura, Gituza and Ngarama communes. It is in Murambi Commune that notorious Jean Baptiste Gatete, who was a bourgmestre, orchestrated some of the killings.
Genocide survivor Jean Bosco Burakari narrated a tragic story about Murambi massacres orchestrated by Gatete.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 2012 lowered Gatete’s sentence to 40 years from life imprisonment.