HUYE – The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) yesterday launched a Painting and Essay Competition for primary and secondary school students in the Huye district, meant to raise awareness about the role of the Tribunal in promoting international justice.
The competition that is being held in the five East African countries is funded by the German Government.
“This is part of the Tribunal’s Educational and Outreach campaign in the region for the promotion of the global fight against the culture of impunity- following the tragic events which led to the Genocide in Rwanda in 1994,” Roland Amoussouga, the ICTR Spokesperson said at the launch.
Participating students aged between 8-16 years from about 60 schools in East Africa will provide answers to a range of questions about international justice, the contribution of the tribunal to national reconciliation and how the tribunal fights impunity.
Painting has targeted primary school pupils.
“The Tribunal and its partners plan to compile all outstanding contributions from the five countries and publish them in special books which will subsequently be distributed to all schools in the region,” Amoussouga added.
“By doing so, the Tribunal believes, it will have sown good seeds in the green fertile lands of East Africa, which will produce in future good and responsible citizens.”
Frank Maier, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, said that it is vital for the youth in Rwanda to learn how the Tribunal works, what they make of it and to share their perceptions about the international justice.
Maier, a historian by training emphasised the need to learn from the past experiences so as to shape the future.
“If you don’t study the past, the past will haunt you,” he said. “It is important to understand the past and learn from it.”
Paul Bagambe, who represented the State Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, at the function called on ICTR officials to think of extending the project to the rest of the schools in the country.
All the winners from the five East African countries will be invited to Arusha Tanzania to receive their awards during the celebration to mark this year’s UN Day on October 24.