Editorial: Youth-led Genocide commemoration critical for consolidating gains made

Young people recite some of the names of Genocide victims whose families were wiped out during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. This was during Sunday’s night vigil at Amahoro National Stadium in Remera as Rwanda began a one-week official mourning period in honour of the over one million victims of the Genocide.Emmanuel Kwizera.

Yesterday, the world joined Rwandans to mark the beginning of the 100 days of commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

Twenty-five years ago more than a million Rwandans were massacred in just 100 days.

Despite the destruction, in terms of human life and economy, Rwandans, under the leadership of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF)-Inkotanyi, managed to pick themselves up and are on course to forging a unified legacy, devoid of violence.

However, the country still faces the daunting challenge of combating genocide denial or those propagating the flawed theory of double genocide.

Quite often the youth are bound to be prey for such groups, hence the need to continuously develop tailor-made events to educate the young generation about the history of Rwanda, particularly issues revolving around the Genocide against the Tutsi.

Throughout the next 100 days, the Government says it will focus on the young generation. This is commendable because the youth make up more than 60 per cent of the country’s population.

The youth now have to be bold and take the lead on nation building.

One of the events through which they have demonstrated enthusiasm about leading the conversations on the country’s past and future prospects is the Generation25 (G25) – a play about the life of the generation of Rwandans born after the 1994 Genocide.

It is slated to be performed on April 12 at Kigali Genocide Memorial Amphitheater.

Among other things, the youth will use the platform to ask probing questions revolving around the past and the responsibility of every actor, including that of the new generation in building Rwanda.

During this conversation and many others being planned both inside and outside the country, it is important to carefully listen and capture the issues that the youth will be raising.

Many of them were not yet born during the Genocide while others are products of rape – one of the weapons used during the Genocide against the Tutsi. Therefore, they face different peculiar problems, which require different approaches if we are to sustain the gains made over the past 25 years.  They also need to be informed about the enormous opportunities the country has for them. 

Let us remember-unite-renew!