Truth and remembrance of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi remain at the centre of nation building and help Rwandans face their past and collectively forge ways of rebuilding their nation, President Paul Kagame has said.
The Head of State delivered the message at the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Gisozi yesterday, where he and the First Lady Jeannette Kagame joined Rwandans and Friends of Rwanda to launch week-long activities to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“Our history reminds us that we have to do everything we can to ensure the Genocide never happens again” he said.
President Kagame urged every Rwandan to unite and confront Rwanda’s tragic past and collectively face challenges to continue rebuilding the nation.
While at Kigali Genocide Memorial yesterday, President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame laid a wreath in honour of over a million victims of the Genocide.
They also lit the Flame of Remembrance at the memorial which will burn for 100 days during the mourning period to symbolise the courage and resilience of Rwandans after the Genocide.
While leading the prayer at the event, the Mufti of Rwanda, Sheikh Salim Hitimana, emphasized that the Genocide was prepared and executed by bad leaders who promoted divisions and genocide ideology among Rwandans.
“May God help us protect our unity as Rwandans and give us strength to fight whoever may want to divide us”.
Speaking at the event, Dr Jean Damascène Bizimana, Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the fight against Genocide (CNLG) highlighted the need for teaching the youth about the country’s history.
Dr. Bizimana also said that there are some people who continue to dampen the Rwandan spirit for example the verdicts that have been rendered by Judge Theodre Meron of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda who reduced charges against the masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in a bid to release them. Judge Meron has so far released 16 convicts who have not served their sentence, currently only 16 remain in prison.
Nevertheless, he commended the increasing solidarity and unity among Rwandans in working together to face their history and in rebuilding their country.
“Commemorating the Genocide against the Tutsi is no longer left to the few; it’s a collective effort for all Rwandans,” he said.
Officials at the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide have indicated that discussions during the ongoing Genocide commemoration week will focus on educating people on the difference between Genocide against the Tutsi and other atrocities as well as how Rwandans have rebuilt their country after the tragic past.