Genocide ideology was borderless, says official

Employees of Rwanda Revenue Authority, National Electoral Commission and Office of Auditor General observe a moment of silence to honour Genocide victims. Sam Ngendahimana.

It was possible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi to take place at the high speed it because its ideology had for years been entrenched in the country.

According to Prof. Kalisa Mbanda, a scholar and the chairperson of National Electoral Commission (NEC), the Genocide was a result of various factors that can be traced back to colonial time.

Kalisa was speaking on Tuesday during a Genocide commemoration event that brought together hundreds of employees of Rwanda Revenue Authority, the National Electoral Commission as well as the Office of General Auditor in Kimihurura, Kigali city.

He said that after the colonialists divided Rwandans, hatred started brewing among Rwandans, books and other materials promoting ethnicity and hatred were written and circulated everywhere and later mainstreamed into the education system.

“Genocide as a plan to wipe out the Tutsi was planned and sponsored by the government and it was preceded by trial versions which are all documented,” he said while explaining to mourners the difference between genocide and other atrocities.

He shared a personal experience where, while in former Zaire current DR Congo, teachers taught his children that Rwandans who lived in the country as refugees were not actually Rwandans but aliens from Abyssinia (current Ethiopia).

He said that before any genocide happens, government functionaries make hatred a political philosophy and totally alienate the targeted group.

He urged Rwandans to shun genocide ideology and promote Ndi Umunyarwanda initiative if the country is to develop.

Mourners said it was unfortunate that the Genocide happened and blamed it on hatred that would have been avoided had the government of the day played its role of promoting equality and avoided divisionism.

Angelique Musabeyezu, one of the employees who attended the event, said that any attempt to misinterpret the events of 1994 should be fought by everyone to ensure Never Again.

Rwandans and friends of Rwanda world over are commemorating the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi for the 24th time under the theme: “Remember, Unite, Renew”


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