Jean Damascène Bizimana, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), on Friday announced several changes in activities to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Along with the usual initial and main national ceremony in Kigali, Bizimana who was speaking during a press conference at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre,said that every district will also hold its own commemoration ceremony on April 7.
The changes mainly come to ensure that commemoration is enhanced while also enabling Rwandans in different walks of life to carry on with their everyday work.
Bizimana informed that there will also be a national ceremony at Amahoro National Stadium in Kigali as was the case in the past.
However, unlike before, he said, every country District will now also plan and hold its own official opening of the commemoration week at a convenient location. On that day, he added, there will be village-level meetings and discussions starting at 9am focused on, among others, how the annual commemoration can be enhanced.
In the afternoon there will be a walk to remember followed by a night vigil both at national level and in every District.
“In the past, during the first week, we used to have daily commemoration meetings from 3pm to 5pm. We had reduced these meetings to only three but this year, there will be only two,” Bizimana said.
“On the other days people will go about their daily activities as usual. We aim to put more efforts in commemoration but people need to also work and carry on with their life and work as usual because this is very important as the nation strives to grow and develop.”
In addition, he noted, instead of organisations such as ministries, religious entities and others holding commemoration events on any day of their choice during the 100 days of commemoration, now it will only be done on April 9 and 10 during the initial commemoration week.
All the changes were made, Bizimana explained, to ensure that commemoration is done in a befitting manner but people also carry on with their regular activities.
“Again, what is clear here is that we have eliminated the situation where you would find ministries and other organisations closing offices and stopping work in the afternoon for employees to attend commemoration meetings and activities.
“The outcome of one well prepared and disseminated commemoration meeting can be much better than daily meetings where people attend begrudgingly because their business has been stopped.”
But people can still join other Rwandans during special commemoration events at some particular sites countrywide.He gave an example of the annual commemoration event to remember the Tutsi who were massacred in Ntarama, in Bugesera District. The event there will be held on April 16.
“The sites where many people were killed will continue to hold their commemoration events on the days they previously did or any other they find fitting.”