The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), Dr. Jean-Damascène Bizimana has urged Police officers to uphold the cardinal principles of impartiality, rule of law and fighting any form of impunity.
Dr. Bizimana was speaking on Thursday, at Rwanda National Police (RNP) General Headquarters in Kacyiru where he addressed hundreds of Police officers as part of the force’s 25th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
He narrated that the long history of pre-colonial and post-colonial Rwanda where deliberate indoctrination of Rwandans through discriminating and dehumanizing other Rwandans who were identified as Tutsis, was deeply engrained in most people.
The elite pre-independence extremists like Gregoire Kayibanda and Joseph Habyarimana Gitera, Dr. Bizimana said, made meticulous public statements which dehumanized Tutsis and called on Hutus not to associate with them through what they called ‘Hutu emancipation’.
He explained that while other African nations were demanding for independence from their colonial masters during the periods of mid-fifties and early sixties, extremist Hutus established associations which later turned into political organizations/parties for liberating Hutus by issuing messages of hate.
These derogatory statements classified Tutsis as “people of inferior race” who were the cause of social and economic challenges at the time resulting into widespread hatred for Tutsis, Dr. Bizimana said.
The derogatory statements such as calling Tutsis snakes and cockroach only to be crushed played an essential part in the execution of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi since it made the ideological justification to the Hutus, who believed they are trying to purify the society.
“They published the ‘Ten Commandments of the Hutu’, which told Hutus not to marry Tutsis, do any business with them, and stated that the entire military should consist of Hutus. The Tutsis were also dehumanized when they were denied land ownership, government positions and also referring to the myth that the Tutsis arrived from Ethiopia and so are foreign to Rwandan land” Dr. Bizimana explained.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Administration and Personnel, Juvenal Marizamunda said that after 25 years, “we are still faced with the effects of Genocide that was committed against the Tutsi in 1994, its ideology and denial. Genocide convicts of Gacaca courts and fugitives are still at large, majority roaming in the region.
“As we commemorate for the 25th time, we should also reflect on what our country has achieved because we chose to make security our main pillar. Let's all join our efforts to protect what we have achieved and strive for a society free from Genocide ideology,” Marizamunda said.
The Deputy Police Chief reiterated the need to work harder and jointly with other Rwandans to unify and reconcile the Rwandan community.
Other senior police officers who attended the event included the Deputy IGP in charge of Operations, Felix Namuhoranye and commissioners.