A UK-based association of survivors of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi has appealed to Rwandans and friends of Rwanda in the UK to participate in the upcoming 21st Genocide commemoration events.
The appeal was made on Saturday during an event that attracted Genocide survivors, their families and friends.
It was organised as part of the ongoing process to foster healing for survivors, many of whom are still traumatised by the horrendous experiences of 1994.
“As time goes by, survivors in the UK find themselves offended by a biased media that is out to minimise and revise the Genocide. The latest being the BBC documentary entitled; ‘Rwanda’s Untold Story’, broadcast on October 1, 2014,” the association said in a statement.
A commission of inquiry that investigated accusations of genocide denial and revisionism by BBC, in its February report, urged the Rwandan government to take criminal action against the BBC over the revisionist documentary.
The report also recommended that government terminates its agreement with the broadcaster, which allows the corporation to broadcast in Kinyarwanda on FM.
“The survivors are obliged to to stand for justice and memories of their beloved ones,” the statement added.
Survivors, on January 21, 2014, started a series of meetings to discuss their future as well as that of Genocide memory in a constantly changing world where some Rwandans in Diaspora show little interest in the welfare of survivors and the fate of their families.
At the Bedford social event on Saturday, many friends and families joined Urumuri, an association of survivors.
They included the Rwandan Community Association (RCA), led by Bosco Ngabonzima and Apolinaire Kageruka, both Genocide survivors; Football for Hope, Peace and Unity (FHPU), led by former Rwandan international footballer, Eric Murangwa; and artistes, Jean-Paul Samputu and Olivier Nzaramba.
According to Urumuri board chairman Pierre-Celestin Rusengatabaro, the name was chosen because it explains the hope of survivors who are inspired by the message in Matthew 5:14.
The organisers also used the occasion to explain the new association’s aims and objectives.
Urumuri is committed to fostering peace, reconciliation, and socio-economic development of Rwanda, the statement reads in part.