Rwandans and friends of Rwanda in Turkey this week gathered at Gazi University, one of the biggest public universities in Ankara, to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
It was the first time the event was taking place in the Turkish city.
Amb. Caesar Kayizari, Rwanda’s envoy to Turkey, told mourners who included government officials, diplomats, and Rwandan students, that the Genocide was not tribal violence or a civil war, but a project orchestrated by extremists in power with their deeply racist ideology.
He said the genocide ideology in Rwanda was a seed planted during colonisation when the then colonial masters pursued to divide and rule policy.
The envoy noted that today’s Rwanda has a vision of a better future for all Rwandans, which needs to be achieved.
In the past 20 years, he said, Rwandans pursued justice and reconciliation as best they could, but it does not restore what the country lost.
“Rwandans have taken responsibility and forgave. These sacrifices are a gift to the nation. They are the seed from which the new Rwanda grows,” the envoy said.
“As we remember, we must comfort victims and survivors whose scars and consequences of the Genocide have changed their lives forever. We have to offer our support to them so that they fulfill their full potentials in bettering their lives and contribute to their country’s development process.”
He appealed to Genocide perpetrators to admit to their crimes and seek forgiveness to help rebuild the country.
“Unity and reconciliation have been a key element in Rwanda’s quick transformation. Since 1994, the country has been moving forward in development at all levels to ensure that it recovers fully from the destructions caused by the Genocide in both human and material resources. Rwanda has emerged stronger from this tragedy,” Amb. Kayizari said.
On Wednesday, more than 50 Rwandan students in Turkey held a Ndi Umunyarwanda session during which they vowed to work hard to contribution to nation building.