Young people have been urged to learn and understand Rwanda’s history as the country prepares to mark the 30th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The appeal was made on Saturday, January 27 by Minister of National Unity and Civic Engagement Jean-Damascene Bizimana as he launched preparatory activities leading up to Kwibuka30, which will begin on April 7 up to July 4. “As we reflect on what happened in the past, it is necessary that the youth learn the history of Rwanda. What led to the Genocide against the Tutsi? How was it stopped? What impact did it have?” Bizimana said. ALSO READ: Umushyikirano: Minister Bizimana rallies youth to fight divisionism The Genocide against the Tutsi claimed more than one million lives within 100 days. The preparatory activities, themed “Rubyiruko amateka yawe” (loosely translated as Youth, know your history) were launched in Huye District, where the local residents paid their respects to the Genocide victims who are laid to rest at a memorial at the University of Rwanda campus. There was also a tree planting exercise and discussions about Rwanda's history and transformation since 1994. Nationwide, more than one million trees will be planted until April to symbolise the Genocide victims. ALSO READ: Rwandan youth urged to tap into opportunities for development The Minister said the Genocide was a result of an ideology, hate and discrimination against the Tutsi that had been taught over the years. He said hate and violence against the Tutsi were normalised and unleashed by a culture of impunity. ALSO READ: New report highlights progress in reconciliation Bizimana note that in the leadup to the Genocide, extremist political parties mobilised the youth to teach them to commit violence. “Instead of teaching them how to build the country, the youth were taught to kill and to kill mercilessly, fast, and across the county. That is why a very big number was killed within just three months,” he said. The Minister stressed that young people should understand how the country rebuilt from the tragedy, the people who took part in the rebuilding and those who will drive its future.