Figures from the Rwanda Investigation Bureau show that cases of genocide ideology halved over the last two years, from 114 recorded during the official Genocide commemoration week in April 2017 to 72 during the same period this year.
While RIB figures show that cases reported this year are at par as those registered in 2018, it has also been reported that genocide ideology now manifests more in words than actions and that increasingly those involved are older people.
Authorities say that the 69 arrests made this month in connection with genocide ideology involve suspects aged between 34-53, an indication that young people are increasingly realising the deadly consequences of hate and division and are steering clear of them.
This is good news as some 70 per cent of Rwandans are aged below 30 years, while as many as 60 per cent were born after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi – meaning that future generations may not have to grapple with the same challenges that the country has had to confront over the last 25 years.
Without undermining the threat that genocide ideology continues to pose, the fact that manifestation of this deadly ideology has generally evolved from physical attacks against survivors or their cattle and property damage to verbal threats and insults itself points to a positive trend, which should lead to better results in the future.
These trends go to show that government’s efforts in promoting unity and reconciliation, the values of Nd’Umunyarwanda and a strong sense of camaraderie among citizens are starting to bear fruit, particularly among younger generations.
However, it’s important that all necessary measures be devised with view to ensuring zero case of genocide ideology in the future.
It is also critical that efforts geared toward fighting genocide ideology and denial are increasingly spearheaded by the youth to ensure that they not only become good citizens but are at the forefront of actively promoting the same values that have enabled this country to bounce back after suffering the worst slaughter ever recorded.
Initiatives like the ‘Youth Volunteers’ will go a long way in ensuring that young people take full ownership of nation-building and are empowered enough to reject any attempt at dividing them and poisoning them with genocide ideology.