Denying our past altogether is a cowardly escape from guilt over their inaction, or worse, their part in keeping genocide ideology existent in the more sinister parts of our society or abroad, First Lady Jeannette Kagame said. She made the remarks during the Ku Gicaniro event that was held on April 13th. ‘Ku Gicaniro’ (At the bonfire) is a youth initiative that commemorates the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. This year’s theme was, ‘The Role of Youth in Fighting against Genocide and Building the Rwanda We Want’. The event aims to educate young people about the causes and consequences of genocide, emphasising the role and responsibility that young people have in preventing genocide in the future. First Lady Mrs Jeannette Kagame: #DearSurvivor, beyond the love that every Rwandan that loves Rwanda has for you, there is gratefulness, that you were not ripped from us, that I hope you can feel in this room this evening, and every day beyond. — First Lady of Rwanda (@FirstLadyRwanda) April 13, 2022 During the event, Rwandan youth pledged to stand at the forefront of the struggle against Genocide ideology, denial, and minimisation. Many of you are too young to recall the skepticism that weighed upon our backs when Rwandans made the defiant, yet ever self-loving choice, to revoke hate and embrace unity, said Jeannette Kagame. “For some, to speak the truth on the atrocities that we have had to overcome is to rehash a past and confront an eternal reality that they either don’t have the capacity or the willingness to absorb.” If the task ahead seems sizable, it is because it is, she said, “yet, I see no reason why you, the youth that has bred wonderful initiatives such as the one that has gathered us today, should fail. For you have done a commendable job at tackling this task so far,” she noted. General James Kabarebe, President Paul Kagames Defense and Security Advisor, who was present at the event, urged the youth to actively get involved in the fight against genocide denial and minimisation. Youve deserted the battlefield. We dont see you in the fight against genocide denial. You have the tools, the means and the content to challenge the enemy, so why dont we see you on the frontlines? he said. “It is high time you stop being distracted. The struggle to stop the genocide has ended, but the struggle against genocide denial should continue,” he added. In attendance were also Edouard Bamporiki, State Minister in Charge of Culture in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, and Jean Damascene Bizimana, Minister of National Unity and Civic Engagement, as well as other government officials, youth living abroad, private sector members, non-governmental organisations, survivors of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi and friends of Rwanda, who collectively emphasised the importance of the youths contribution. Freddy Mutanguha, the Executive Director of Aegis Trust said Rwanda is in the hands of young girls and boys to be able to contribute to the future of this country. “Its essential for them to learn and understand the history of Rwanda, especially the history of the Genocide against the Tutsi, so that Never again becomes a reality and strive for a peaceful Rwanda,” he said. “It happened, therefore, it can happen again, Ku Gicaniro is a place where we young people vow that Genocide wont happen again in Rwanda or elsewhere,” said Naswiru Shema, the Executive Director of Peace and Love Proclaimers. The event was organized by Peace and Love Proclaimers in collaboration with Aegis Trust and Imbuto Foundation. It comprised different youthful plays, songs, poems, and a panel discussion on the impact of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and the role of youth in rebuilding the country.