EDITORIAL: Kwibuka22: We must keep the memory of the Genocide alive

Rwandans yesterday concluded the 22nd weeklong official commemoration for the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Rwandans yesterday concluded the 22nd weeklong official commemoration for the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The last day of the Kwibuka22 official events saw the country pay tribute to the politicians who were killed in the Genocide because they were either Tutsi or stood up to the genocidal regime, or both.

 

Nonetheless, remembrance activities will continue through July 3, spanning the 100 days that the Genocide lasted – claiming the lives of at least 1,071,000 innocent people.

 

This year’s commemorative events are being held under the theme “Kwibuka22: Fighting Genocide Ideology”.

 

The theme could not have come at a better time as Rwandans and all people of goodwill find themselves having to continuously repeat what should otherwise be obvious in a fair, dignified world: the Genocide against the Tutsi was the result of an elaborate plan to wipe out all Tutsi off the surface of the earth.

Across the world, Genocide perpetrators and their sympathizers continue their deplorable efforts to twist this country’s sad history by denying or downplaying the Genocide against the Tutsi, arguing that it was a spontaneous action as opposed to being the outcome of a well laid out plan to eliminate the Tutsi.

They also question the death toll, callously minimizing the number of victims to some hundreds of thousands, perhaps out of a deep seated sense of guilt over the magnitude of their crime and the savagery that accompanied it.

This attitude is consistent with the acts by the genocidaires in the buildup to the Genocide when they kept denying or minimizing widespread targeted murders that claimed the lives of thousands of Tutsi in what later came to be known as ‘experiment killings’.

Genocide scholars have also classified denial as the last phase of a genocide, during which perpetrators seek to distort the truth with view to permanently destroy the memory of that horrific crime, dishonor the victims and inflict further misery on survivors.

That’s why men and women of reason anywhere in the world must not allow these heartless and hate-filled ideologues to achieve their evil mission.

These deniers have exploited the confusion and indifference on the part of some global institutions, including the United Nations. As rightly stated by Rwanda’s envoy to the United Nations this week, it’s high time the UN started to refer to the Genocide against the Tutsi by what it is, as opposed to using such misleading terminologies as ‘Rwandan Genocide’ or ‘the Genocide in Rwanda’.

In addition, the UN must cease to fuel revisionism by minimizing the number of Genocide victims through inventing figures that cannot be further from the truth.

We must all be seen to be partaking in efforts to preserve the truth about the Genocide for in doing so we contribute toward ensuring that such atrocities never happen anywhere again.

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