The Rwandan community and friends of Rwanda in Uganda are running a fundraising activity that will lead to construction of a Genocide museum in Mpigi, Uganda.
This year’s commemoration will be held under the theme; “Kwibuka22: Fighting Genocide Ideology.”
With the close collaboration of the Rwanda High Commission in Uganda, proceeds from the activity will this week go to laying a foundation of the museum at Ggolo memorial site in Mpigi district. The campaign, which will see the community clean, renovate, and light the flame of hope at Ggolo on April 7, has also attracted Rwandans living in Ethiopia and Arusha, Tanzania.
“This is an idea that was generated amongst ourselves - to make a humble contribution in preserving the memory of victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi,” said Gashegu Muramira, one of the fundraisers.
The museum will be constructed in Ggolo memorial site in Mpigi district which is not only home to the largest number victims, but is also more accessible compared to the other memorial sites. The other memorial sites in Uganda are Kasensero in Rakai district, and Lambu in Masaka district.
“Genocide is a crime against humanity and this means that the campaign to build a museum concerns everybody regardless of one’s tribe, nationality, religion or where they stay.
We heartily thank everybody that has made a contribution and continues to make to this initial stage in this noble cause.”
All the three sites contain remains of about 10,935 victims who during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi were thrown into Akagera and Nyabarongo rivers both tributaries of Lake Victoria and ended up in Uganda and beyond.
The museum is envisaged to serve as an education centre that will promote messages against Genocide ideology, negating and revisionism and a general campaign on why Genocide shouldn’t occur again in any part of the world.
“A constant bell should ring in the minds of all peace loving people that we need to do more in preventing Genocide from happening anywhere else in the world,” Muramira added.
Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Uganda Frank Mugambage cautioned that Genocide denial has been changing in different forms over time, and that the situation therefore calls for the maintenance of memorial sites to reawaken the ‘Never Again’ campaign.
“Genocide ideology should be relentlessly fought because those who perpetuated the Genocide against the Tutsi and their sympathizers have continued to deny it and distort the truth about what happened,” Mugambage said.
The Rwandan envoy called for more research and discussions on Genocide and its prevention in order to safeguard its memory.
The main commemoration activity in Uganda will take place at Kasensero memorial site at an event to be graced by Ugandan government officials, heads of diplomatic corp and the Rwandan community and friends of Rwanda.
On April 7, a memorial service, a public lecture and night vigil will be held in honour of the victims at Kasanga miracle centre, and the International University of East Africa (IUEA) respectively.
Meanwhile, Eng. Daniel Murenzi, the Chairman of the Rwanda Diaspora in Arusha, Tanzania told the Sunday Times yesterday that the Rwandan community will on April 7, lay wreath on a monument built within the East African Community (EAC) secretariat in memory of the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
At the event, outgoing EAC Secretary General Dr Richard Sezibera will speak on the rationale for Commemoration of Genocide against the Tutsi and Genocide Ideology in Rwanda.
Justice Hassan Bubacar Jallow, the Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is also scheduled to deliver an address on Genocide and International Law and measures to curb Genocide ideology.
Other speakers include; Samuel Akorimo, the representative of the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunal and Jessica Eriyo, the EAC Deputy Secretary General.