Africa should learn from ethnic divisions that culminated into the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda if the continent is to realise sustainable peace and security.
These were the comments made by members of the Eastern African Standby Force (EASF), after visiting Kigali Genocide memorial centre, on Saturday.
About 20 people, including military, police and civilian personnel, are in the country for a two-week peace support operations logistics course at the Rwanda Peace Academy (RPA) in Musanze District.
Capt. Margret mills from Seychelles Island said Rwanda’s story is a sad but at the same time should challenge the continent to fight any kind of ethnicity, segregation and intolerance.
“The way Rwanda rose from this darkness to build the country, brings a practical example of how a nation can rebuild itself from a conflict to a peaceful and harmonious nation with reconciled citizens. Rwanda’s story could help us build peace around the continent and beyond,” Capt. Margret said.
The peace support operations logistics course seeks to build the capacity of participants drawn from nine regional countries to better perform various functions in missions of deployment.
The countries represented include, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Seychelles, Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda.
Referring to 2007 post-election conflicts in Kenya, Nyagah Mugo, a Kenyan participant in the peace support operations logistics course said the incident should not have happened in Kenya or any other ethnic-based violence that have subsequently occurred across Africa after the Genocide in Rwanda.
“It’s my second time to visit Kigali Genocide memorial site, but every time I visit this place, I ask myself many questions; has Africa learned any lessons from the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda? I don’t know.
From my experience, it appears the discipline of the Rwandan people in everything is key to keep the spirit of togetherness; the discipline of recovery, patriotism, cleanliness and the discipline in service are enough lessons to stop conflicts on our continent,” said Mugo.
Methode Ruzindana, the director of research and training at RPA said the tour at Kigali the memorial will help participants to reflect on Rwanda’s tragedy to have a better case study in conducting training on child rights, monitor and report rights violation in a conflict environment.