The evening of Thursday, May 5, was a sombre one as staff of the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB), families of victims, and stakeholders gathered to pay their respects to the victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. The commemoration was held at NAEB headquarters in Gikondo, Kigali, where wreaths were laid on headstones bearing the names of employees of the former OCIR-THE and OCIR-CAFÉ (later merged to form NAEB) who were killed in the Genocide. After the ceremony, the mourners proceeded to the Kigali Genocide Memorial where they immersed themselves in the history of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and how it unfolded. The memorial provided a reminder of the atrocities that were committed during those dark days and served as a powerful call to action for all those in attendance. ALSO READ: Ibuka calls for parenting that eradicates Genocide ideology In the amphitheatre of the Kigali Genocide Memorial, survivor Yvette Dusabe bravely shared her harrowing story. She was only eight years old when the Genocide started, and her family worked at the former OCIR THE and OCIR CAFÉ. They lived in a community inside the current NAEB headquarters, where they witnessed the disturbing signs of the looming genocide. Colleagues were wielding machetes around and in offices, bragging about their plans to kill their fellow colleagues who were Tutsi. Dusabe’s father was killed in front of her, and she thought she was in the midst of a terrible nightmare that would never end. She and other children from her community were forced to flee, and they managed to survive with the help of a Red Cross entourage who took them to CHUK. ALSO READ: MINAGRI honors over 800 former staff killed in 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi The commemoration was also an opportunity for Claude Bizimana, Chief Executive Officer of NAEB, to reflect on “the last 29 years of peace in Rwanda, which has enabled the country to prosper.” He urged all patriotic citizens to find new ways to combat the dangerous trend of genocide ideology that is fuelled by social media. ‘Never again’ should always be at the forefront, he emphasised. Laurent Ndagijimana, a representative of IBUKA, spoke about how colonialists had divided Rwandans who had once loved each other, by claiming that Hutu were the ‘real’ Rwandans. He stressed that the entire concept of ethnicity was a hoax, and urged all institutions to join the fight against genocide ideology. Francois Masabo, a researcher and professor at the University of Rwanda, shared his knowledge of how the Genocide unfolded at OCIR, revealing that factories for tea and coffee production were actually hidden Interahamwe training centres. He urged the youth to use social media to fight against the new trend of false narratives and the revisionist history of Rwanda as a country. ALSO READ: Genocide ideology remains a threat to unity - Minister Bizimana The commemoration was a poignant reminder of the tragedy that took place in 1994. OCIR-Café and OCIR-Thé were Rwanda’s Coffee and Tea Authority, which were merged to form the National Agricultural Export Development Board, which also hosts the former Rwanda Horticulture Development Authority (RHODA). Over 330 staff were killed, and more than 1,000 tea and coffee farmers and pickers were also massacred during the Genocide. But as the commemoration came to a close, there was hope that through continued remembrance and education, the country can move forward towards a more peaceful and just future.