Kinshasa residents and Government leaders alike joined the Rwandan Community in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The event in Kinshasa, organised by the Embassy of Rwanda last week, took place at the Sacré Coeur Church and was attended by over 100 people, including Rwandans, Congolese as well as members of the diplomatic corps.
The Government of DRC was represented by the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Luzolo Bambi Lessa. Two other Ministers; Céléstin Mbuyu Kabango of Hydrocarbons and Dieudonné Upira Sunguma of Public service, were also in attendance.
Participants observed a minute of silence before Rwanda’s ambassador, Amandin Rugira, and the Congolese Minister of Justice addressed the congregation.
Ambassador Rugira reminded the gathering the importance of commemorating the Genocide against the Tutsi, indicating that the more than one million people who perished during the Genocide were a big loss to the country.
He noted that the Genocide left survivors with various problems, including trauma, adding that it is the reason the theme of commemoration this year is ‘Let us commemorate the Genocide against the Tutsi by continuing to combine efforts in managing trauma’.
He highlighted a number of efforts the government has put in place to help survivors, including the Fund for the Support of Genocide Survivors (FARG) which helped in providing for the needy survivors such as constructing houses for them and meeting their education and medical expenses.
On his part, the Congolese Minister of Justice and Human Rights said that the people of DRC are with Rwandans as they commemorate the Genocide against the Tutsi.
Building on the call to combine efforts in managing trauma, he expressed the need for the Congolese and Rwandese to unite in the fight against the Genocide and crimes against humanity in the two countries because they affect peace and stability of the region.
He commended Rwanda upon completing a successful implementation of Gacaca jurisdictions which he said are conducted by honest men and women, adding that people of the two countries need to educate the youth so that what happened does not happen again.
He noted that Rwanda’s experience with Gacaca Courts left the world amazed on how through traditional means, justice can be delivered in the most efficient manner.