Youth from across the country have been urged to take part in the fight against genocide ideology, ahead of the 22nd commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that starts tomorrow.
The call was made by Clever Gatabazi who is in charge of memory at the national commission for the fight against the Genocide (CNLG), during the fifth national youth conference on commemoration policy for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The conference, was organised by Never Again Rwanda, a local NGO. It was held under the theme: “Commemoration of 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi: A Journey to healing and reconciliation.”
Gatabazi told the youth to take part in the fight against negativism, revisionism of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“Such cases mostly occur on the internet. You the youth are the right people to fight that war because of your exposure to technology,” he said, adding that they should not fear to speak the truth but rather endeavour to educate the older people where necessary.
Dr Joseph Nkurunziza, the chairperson of Never Again Rwanda, said empowering the youth is central towards sustainable peace in the country.
“Building capacity for youth in peace building, human rights and good governance is a worthy investment in creating a peaceful future for Rwanda,” he said.
“Negationists and revisionists are not relenting. They are busy working. You need to respond to them. Write books, tweet to expose their lies about the country,” he said, explaining that the youth should always be mindful about the Genocide and its grave consequences.
He called upon them to participate in Genocide commemoration activities as one way of ensuring it does not happen again.
The conference attracted government officials, development partners, peace actors and youth from across the country.
Participants shared their experiences and discussed ways to create safe spaces for healing through memory of the Genocide as well as participate in peace activities in their communities.
Never Again Rwanda works with 86 clubs in secondary schools and 22 youth clubs which were all represented in the conference.
Maximilien Kwizera, one of the participants urged his fellow youth to avoid lies and participate in the commemoration activities.
“We hear different messages from different people. We should attend lectures during the commemoration and get the true messages that are not misleading,” he said.
According to Nkurunziza, Never Again Rwanda established the conference to provide youth with a platform to share experiences on commemoration practices with different stake holders.
It is part of the organisation’s contribution to the prevention of the genocide and its ideology and the relentless journey to healing and reconciliation.
During the week-long commemoration, members of Never Again Rwanda will hold debates on history of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, among other planned activities.