Rwandan envoy to the UK, Yamina Karitanyi has called on Rwandans to maintain the spirit of home-gown solutions which enabled the country to build social cohesion, ensure justice and lay ground for recovery.
Karitanyi was speaking during a recent commemoration event convened by Rwandans and friends of Rwanda living in the United Kingdom under the North East Rwanda Association, (NERA).
The commemoration also served as an opportunity to share Rwanda’s history, facts about its political history, noting that the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was never an isolated or sudden occurrence.
Karitanyi said that Rwanda’s progress in recent years is owed to an enlightened leadership which has a citizen-centered approach to governance and implemented home-grown initiatives drawn from Rwanda’s culture.
The initiatives include Gacaca courts which brought restorative justice and reconciliation to a once divided nation.
To support rural communities to collectively solve problems related to poverty, the country rolled out another home grown solution, Ubudehe and Imihigo which enables citizens to keep their leaders accountable, the envoy told the audience.
Girinka which gives one cow per poor family was introduced to alleviate poverty while Umuganda sees citizens come together to clean their communities.
Karitanyi however, told the hundreds of participants there were still threats today with individuals demonstrating revisionist tendencies through literature and other means, as well as the threat of genocide denial.
She further called on Rwandans and the international community to be active in combating genocide denial and ideology.
“As we fight the terrible threat of genocide ideology and denial, let us continue rebuilding Rwanda and ourselves, and let us do it with the dignified spirit of determination, unity and reconciliation that defines us as a people,” she said.
Speaking at the event, the Mayor of Newcastle, Ian Graham, expressed his support for the people of Rwanda and the survivors of the Genocide and commended initiatives that welcome and support survivors, as well raise awareness about Genocide and the impact it has on people.