We need to be relentless in explaining history of the genocide

We are currently living in a much more digitised world than ever before. It is almost safe to say that if something is not shared online and often instantly then it did not happen.

This thing called the internet is so full of new information being uploaded at speeds that would even shock the people that design the servers tasked with the burden of holding all this information being churned out.

There is so much information literally available at our finger tips as long as one has access to the internet. The challenge with all this information is that it is becoming more and more difficult to tell the real information from the fake news.

In this era of social media where information is so easily shared, the wrong information seems to travel faster creating a challenge for the impressionable minds on what to believe.

Today, a lot of investments being made by the top social media companies are towards dealing with the scourge of fake news. However the biggest front against this will always be the truth and knowledge of those who know things first hand or better.

The good thing is that knowledge is not like money that if you share it you remain with less. There is no risk of becoming knowledge bankrupt just because you shared what you know.

As Rwandans and friends of humanity all over the world commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi it always becomes apparent that among us there are people bent on denying that there was genocide at all.

Others acknowledge it but try so hard to revise the facts to try and find ways to spread the blame among the perpetrators and the victims. Imagine that? These two categories are quite deliberate in their efforts.

There are also though who are simply not knowledgeable enough about the events that happened. Among these some are willing to learn so they will ask all the questions that spring up in their minds while others have shut down the learning section of their brain and opening the stubborn arguments sections.

As a teacher, I don’t struggle much when dealing with these. However not everyone has my levels of patience or ability to explain things in a clear and simple way to ensure that clarity is found.

It must really be very hard and sometimes annoying for the surviving victims of this tragedy to have to face off with arrogant keyboard maniacs who are more interested in belittling than learning more about the Genocide against the Tutsi.

Over this past week I have found myself explaining to people in different WhatsApp groups why the tragedy is named Genocide against the Tutsi and not Rwandan genocide or why it is even genocide and not just a war as some may assume.

I have also had to explain that the Genocide against the Tutsi was planned and did not just happen because a plane was shot down from the sky. The ability to kill over a million people in 100 days all across the country requires some degree of planning and preparation. To pit people against each other to the point of splitting families and neighbours is not something you do just because you have heard of a plane crash.

Of course there are people who are so keen to erase this history because of the guilt they harbour for not having been allowed to finish what they started however, as we all know the truth is a very stubborn thing. There are books, memorial sites and so many Rwandans who lived through the horror of 1994. Some were irreparably bruised by the tragedy but their truth is clear. They have always told their stories and a lot is documented.

The fight to push back the efforts of genocide deniers and those speaking simply out of ignorance will have to continue without hesitation. It is the least we can do in memory of the more than a million souls that are not alive to keep doing this. Many of the survivors managed to live because they never gave up, they never lost hope, and they never got tired of running from their killers. How then can we say we are tired of putting the record straight? The RPF/A may have liberated the country but every knowledgeable person has a duty to liberate the truth and tell it as it is. Genocide denial should not be allowed to prosper. Never.

Email: ssenyonga@gmail.com

Blog: www.ssenyonga.wordpress.com

Twitter: @ssojo81

The views expressed in this article are of the author.

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