Three choices helped Rwanda rise from the ashes of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and progress from an almost failed state to a modern country.
Rwanda’s Ambassador to Netherlands, Jean Pierre Karabaranga said this during a lecture at the Webster University Leiden, in Netherlands.
Amb. Karabaranga who talked at length about fighting Genocide ideology and denial emphasised that Rwanda today is ranked among the fastest growing economies globally and the most stable and secure country in Africa.
He added: “To make that happen, we made three main choices: to stay together; uniting our people, no more discrimination; to be accountable for our people and our selves; and to think big, being ambitious in making our country one of the best in Africa.”
“Rwanda today is a success story, showing that if right policies are in place, any society can overcome any tragic situation. If Rwanda did it, any other society can do it.”
A good understanding of the conditions that lead to Genocide is important, he said, and this can be used to fight genocide ideology.
“The history should be used to educate younger generation. The past must lay the foundation for a brighter future. That’s the reason why every year, like here today, we have a commemoration event. We need to keep the memory alive if we have to fight future tragedies.”
During the lecture which was streamed live this week, Amb. Karabaranga, shed light on the background of the Genocide against Tutsi, genocide ideology, and the eight stages or operational processes of genocide.
The eight stages of genocide are; classification, symbolisation, dehumanisation, organisation, polarisation, preparation, extermination, and denial, he said.
“The first stages precede later stages, but continue to operate throughout the genocidal process. Each stage reinforces the others. A strategy to prevent genocide should attack each stage, each process.”
The Webster University Leiden is an American university with campuses around the world, including the Netherlands.