By definition, genocide ideology is an aggregate of thoughts characterised by conduct, speeches, documents and other acts aiming at exterminating or inciting others to exterminate people basing on ethnic group, origin, nationality, region, colour, physical appearance, sex, language, religion or political opinion.
Genocide ideology has been identified as one of the impediments to reconciliation and, as such, members of Parliament last year amended the law against genocide ideology to include crimes like causing disappearance or degradation of evidence of genocide.
As Rwandans today start the 25th commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, this year’s commemoration is themed around the youth (58% of Rwandans are 25 and below), especially with regard to teaching them about what caused the genocide.
Sharon Kantengwa inquired about the opinion, of some youth, about how they can fight genocide ideology.
Personally, I think there are a few steps the youth can take in fighting genocide ideology.
First, knowing thoroughly about our history by visiting memorial sites, reading about Rwandan history and talking to elders.
Once we know what exactly happened, the youth can take the next step to fight ideology through mass media and social media since we have access to both of them.
We should also participate in dialogues to share our views and ask questions on the Genocide and its effects.
Lastly, we should encourage a culture of writing and sharing our stories as the youth about some of the effects of Genocide.
Rosette Umuhoza, co-founder “My green home”
As the country develops at a very high speed and the Government continues to invest so much money in ICT and anything that goes with technology, it’s very easy for the youth to get connected on different platforms and share their stories, the real stories so that the whole world can know what our country went through and learn how they can avoid such a tragedy in their countries.
But again, in order to share the truth about the Genocide as the youth, we need guidance from our elders, we need institutions in charge to share anything they have and help us to learn about our history easily.
Christian Intwari, events organiser
I think the first step in fighting against genocide ideology as youth is by making our voices more present in the fight. In practice, it can be ensured through art and formation of youth groups.
Art is race less and genderless and so everyone can find themselves in a certain category of art and use it to restore humanity. Using youth groups where we can learn more about genocide ideology and find out ways of fighting it.
As youth, we should be ready to challenge cultural norms that embody genocide ideology because culture is not beyond questioning and remolding, it is not beyond humanity and what is right.
We should also acknowledge the Rwandan youth already doing remarkable work in fighting genocide ideology like the Peace and Love Proclaimers, Imfura Art for Peace, artists like Angel Uwamahoro, Hope Azeda, through Ubumuntu Art Festival, because it also engages many youth too.
Ange Theonastine Ashimwe, poet
We all need to look at the past and say ‘never again’, plus we should always stay positive and build our country as youth.
Igor Mabano, artiste