‘Never Again’ - We shall not be silenced

The world’s attention is once again focused on Rwanda and the calamity she suffered 16 years ago, heads hang in shame, at the reminder of not having done enough to stop the massacre of innocent people – marked by ceremonial repetitions of the vow ‘Never Again’.

The world’s attention is once again focused on Rwanda and the calamity she suffered 16 years ago, heads hang in shame, at the reminder of not having done enough to stop the massacre of innocent people – marked by ceremonial repetitions of the vow ‘Never Again’.

Statements and affirmations of the ‘Never Again’ vow reverberate throughout the world.  Rwandans are reminded just for this part of the calendar that the world knows the injustice they suffered and perhaps - it cares.

However, it is simply disingenuous on the part of our world leaders, to continue vowing ‘Never Again’ without dealing with underlying challenges, which might keep that vow from being a lasting reality in the lives of Rwandans.

Recent weeks have seen Rwandans suffer unimaginable abuse by those who claim to be champions of their human rights, groups of individuals who have no shame, as attack after attack, descended into an all time moral low of just a matter of sour- grapes.

So desperate in the incessant attacks that many have known no peace, in both covert and overt operations, from malicious emails being circulated, to hurriedly set up blogs meant to achieve a set objective of undermining anyone who is suspected to be agreeing with Kigali.

The brutality of the war that was unleashed in cyberspace, waged by those who have failed on other platforms to push the revisionist/negationist agenda, claimed its victims in the traumatised Rwandans. Once again the world remains silent.

Sour grapes -- in relentless attack after attack on any hard won gains by the Rwandan leadership, from belittling the women’s majority in parliament -so far the highest in the world - to attacks on the reality that Rwanda has emerged from a dark hole of despair, of ethnic hatred and poverty to being a leading country, a beacon of hope in the East African community and indeed the African continent if not the whole world.

That is why, as part of the 16th Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi, as we reflect on the trauma suffered by Genocide survivors on a daily basis, we should seek accountability from irresponsible individuals and international organisations, who with impunity continue to violate the very values they claim to be championing.

However, the desperation in seeking to silence us speaks volumes about this moribund group of people and their pointless agenda, for indeed we shall not be silenced, neither will we be cowed by people who have decided in the most highly suspect fashion to personalise politics in Rwanda.

For it is written: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.”

As President Paul Kagame, reminded us while paying respect to Genocide victims at the Kigali Genocide Memorial centre: “As we pray and as we express our sorrow and sadness, we also have to come out with our heads high and raised, and with absolute commitment that we can shape our future - a better future that our people deserve and it is within us to achieve.”

The President further asserted: “We have no power to change bad international politics, but, we as Rwandans have the power to change bad politics of our country and that is where we should concentrate.”

However, taking a cue from the President’s message, indeed, the future of Rwandans and our future collectively as Africans lies in our hands, but more often than not those who contribute to messing us up never shoulder the blame, neither do they ever experience the pain or trauma associated with their words or political irresponsibility.

We know the complicity of many international players in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and other conflicts on the continent; but we also live with the pain of never seeing them brought to book.

These cyber activists’ favourite pastime is to fan the flames of ethnic hatred, the consequences or harsh reality of which they and their children never live to experience, but only watch from the comfort of their homes.

It is us who have to pick up the pieces and move on, be it in building shattered nations again, or simply burying the hatchet and forgiving as part of our healing process.

In a self fulfilling prophesy whatever conflict that may arise from their irresponsible behavior becomes an ‘African’ phenomenon, one from which the ‘primitive’ Africans need to be rescued, more blogs and organisations are set up and the cycle repeats itself.

In the most vile fashion, Rwanda is fertile ground for fly-by-night activists,  whose call to fame are heroic acts of having rescued Africans from themselves, in this case the tired colonial stereotype of  ‘hutus’ and ‘tutsis’ brandishing machetes against each other.

Ethnic differentiations that were abused by previous colonial regimes led to the massacres we remember today.

It is these very  differentiations that have provided a fresh impetus for those who fail to deal with the reality in Rwanda, as they launch a fresh onslaught meant to achieve precisely what the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi achieved.

The reality being that while today, they cannot arm groups of militias, they have resorted to words in achieving the very same purpose.




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