Rwandans have been urged to embrace the practice of visiting Genocide memorial sites to know history of the pogrom in order to help lay a firm foundation to fight against the genocide ideology.
The call was made Thursday by Dr Alvera Mukabaramba, the state minister in charge of social community development and social welfare, during a visit organised by the Ministry of Local Government and the ten affiliated agencies to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Gisozi.
“Genocide ideology has remarkably decreased but we have to fight it until it is no more,” Mukabaramba said, explaining that visiting memorial sites is a good weapon to fight genocide ideology.
Through such visits, she said, one gets to understand how everything happened right from the preparation of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
“You can’t see such history with your own eyes and keep the genocide ideology. There are memorial sites in different parts of the country, people should visit them and make it a habit,” she said.
Augustin Rubundana, an employee at Rwanda Governance Board, said the visit was important as it helped them know history of the genocide and inspired them to fight it.
“Most of us were young or lived out of the country when the Genocide occurred. You cannot say ‘Never Again’ while you have no information about what happened. From this visit, we have learnt lessons and I can say we are now in position to understand what ‘never again’ really means,” he said.
After the tour of different sections of the memorial centre, the visitors were given a lecture on genocide ideology by Dr Jean-Damascene Bizimana, the executive secretary of the National Commission for the fight against the Genocide (CNLG).
Bizimana urged them to always work hard to undo the bad image of the country that was left by genocidal regime and institutions such as media, among others.
“The media was used as a tool to spread hate and genocide ideology. Now it should be a tool to promote unity and development among Rwandans as well,” he said.
Bizimana reminded his audience of the different ways in which the Genocide ideology manifests and urged them to commit to fighting it.
He also took the opportunity to read out the names of brave Rwandans who went out of their way to protect those who were being hunted by the marauding militia, calling upon all Rwandans to borrow a leaf from them.
The movie, “Ubumuntu,” which is about those who refused to betray Rwanda's values and protected victims was aired.
They include Grace Uwamahoro who is credited with the survival of a baby during the Genocide, Felicite Niyitegeka, among others.
The agencies affiliated to the ministry of Local Government include Rwanda Governance Board, Media High Council, National Itorero Commission, and National Electoral Commission.
Officials said the visit will be made an annual activity to gain more from it.