KAMONYI — There is need for religious leaders who were implicated in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, to ask for forgiveness for betraying their flock, rather than claiming innocence, the Minister of Culture and Sports, Joseph Habineza has appealed.
He said this would be a significant step towards forging unity and reconciliation among Rwandans, and restore hope for rebuilding of the country.
The Minister made the appeal last Sunday, during a memorial ceremony for victims of the Genocide, at Kamonyi Memorial Site, where remains of over 100 victims were also given a decent burial.
Habineza stressed that all church leaders who helplessly witnessed their followers being killed by the Interahamwe militia in churches, should apologise for their failure to save the lives of innocent people.
“Priests, pastors who were reluctant to save their followers and fellow Tutsi priests and pastors who were killed by Interahamwe during the Genocide, should take a lead in asking for forgiveness and teach their followers do the same without hypocrisy.”
Former members of MRND and MDR Political parties, who did not kill, but failed to restrain their fellow party members from carrying out the killings, and supporting the Interahamwe, should also apologise, the Minister added.
“Some members of these political parties attended meetings, and were deeply involved in the day today party activities, all decisions were being reached to massacre the Tutsis, while they were watching and did not stop them,” he said.
All those implicated in the Genocide, Habineza noted should admit their crimes and ask for forgives without hurting Genocide orphans and widows.
He urged Rwandans to support the government in the reconciliation initiatives and ensure security of survivors whom he said continue to be harassed by Genocide suspects.