Varsity students and staff should take the lead in conducting research and documenting events that occurred during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi as the best way to counter those that continue to deny or trivialise the Genocide.
The call was made by Dr Diogène Bideri, the Principal Legal Advisor to the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), during an event to honor students and staff of the University of Rwanda College of Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (CAVM), who were killed during the Genocide.
The school, which is based in Musanze District, was previously known as Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (ISAE).
The commemoration event, that took place on Thursday, started with a ‘walk to remember’ from the college to the Busogo Memorial Site. It attracted students, staff, and families of those that were killed at the college during the Genocide.
Thereafter, the mourners assembled in the campus hall where they were briefed about how the Genocide was organised and executed by the then government.
Bideri said there are people who call themselves researchers and intellectuals who distort information about the Genocide.
“Documenting the Genocide is not something difficult as many may think, but Rwandans prefer to only talk; if only a fraction of the testimonies is documented, we can have enough ammunition to use against the deniers.”
‘‘It is absurd that most of the people who were killed at the college are not known, they are yet to be identified.’’ he added
After the Genocide, some names of the victims still featured on class lists and, Bideri called for research to establish why and how this happened.
Dr Leatitia Nyinawamwiza, the college principal, said that Rwandans should take ownership of their history, urging students and faculty members to work together to gather all information related to the killings at the college and have them documented.
“We cannot be discouraged, we have to soldier on, let’s work hard to gather information and document the Genocide, starting with our colleagues killed here.”