Educated members of society such as university dons and others in the Rwandan community should be at the forefront in fighting genocide ideology.
The Minister for Local Government Francis Kaboneka made the call on Sunday in Nyagatare District, where he joined residents in the ongoing Genocide commemoration events.
The meeting drew more than five thousand people, most of them young men and women, students and dons of University of Rwanda’s Nyagatare campus, and East African University in Nyagatare, and area local residents.
“You see, the past generation backed genocide ideology in their lectures, and notebooks, and in their offices and homes. They spread hatred among the masses, demonising a section of Rwandans, leading to massacres at different intervals, from 1959, that culminated into the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi,” he said.
“It is our role, therefore, to revive our unity as Rwandans and stand against any element, whether from within or without, that spread genocide ideology.”
The minister shared the country’s history from 1926’s extremist colonial census and issuance of national identity cards that identified Rwandans as Hutu, Twa and Tutsi.
He explained that after the colonialists killed King Mutara Rudahigwa who had strongly resisted their policy of dividing the population along ethnic lines they did nothing to re-unite Rwandans.
Kaboneka challenged all Rwandans to stand firm and united as was the case before the intrusion of colonialists.
“It is upon us, the present generation to stand for truth that our forbearers stood for, that Rwandans despite our social status. We all have a common identity, and that’s the Rwandan identity.”
The president of Ibuka, the umbrella organisation for Genocide survivors, in the district, Emmanuel Twagirayezu, said manifestations of genocide ideology in Nyagatare have gone down compared to the previous years.
“The real numbers of cases of genocide ideologies actually have not changed so much but the weight of the inciting language used reduced significantly,” said Twagirayezu.
“For instance, there used to be words like ‘we will kill you again’ and tracts with drawings of axes and machetes but today such are no longer appearing. The cases we encounter are those of people downsizing the number of victims who were killed.”