The last few weeks have seen several public and private institutions involved in activities to honour the more than a million victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Commemoration events are aimed at keeping the memory alive, reaffirming our collective resolve to uphold the ‘Never again’ pledge and expressing genuine solidarity with the survivors by supporting them during these difficult times and renewing our commitment to accompanying them on the challenging journey of healing and recovery.
The Genocide against the Tutsi left behind shattered hearts and communities and a nation on the brink of destruction. Twenty-one years later, Rwanda has not only pulled through the darkest part of its turbulent history, but is also firmly on the road to a happy, prosperous nation.
But even as we continue to lay down the building blocks for renewal and a solid foundation for a bright future, we must collectively embrace the responsibility to remember the innocent lives lost at the altar of the politics of genocide and recommit to an inclusive society in which all citizens are treated equally, allowed to maximise their potential and fully participate in governance and nation building.
A community that forgets its difficult past is unlikely to reclaim its future and it’s encouraging that more and more Rwandans seem to be understanding this reality. That’s why it’s heartwarming to see how many Rwandans are not only taking part in commemoration events within and outside the country, but also joining hands to improve the livelihoods of Genocide survivors.
Two weeks after the closure of the official week-long mourning period we continue to see different institutions taking time to remember former employees and compatriots killed during the Genocide by visiting memorial sites, walking and keeping vigils in their memory, supporting vulnerable survivors, among others.
These actions are noble and need to be embraced by all – both at individual and community level – in public, private, religious and civic organizations alike.
We must never cease to remember the Genocide victims as this would put the future at a great risk. We must never treat ‘Never again’ as just another rhetorical phrase but rather seek to make it a reality at home and abroad.
We encourage more Rwandans in their respective localities and institutions to continue partaking in Remembrance events and in building a better Rwanda.