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Legislators step up campaign against genocide denial

Members of Parliament grouped under the Anti-Genocide Parliamentary Forum (AGPF-Rwanda), yesterday, agreed to advance campaigns against Genocide denial and promote unity of Rwandans during the forthcoming commemoration week and beyond.
Mourners keep a vigil during a past Genocide commemoration. (File)
Mourners keep a vigil during a past Genocide commemoration. (File)

Members of Parliament grouped under the Anti-Genocide Parliamentary Forum (AGPF-Rwanda), yesterday, agreed to advance campaigns against Genocide denial and promote unity of Rwandans during the forthcoming commemoration week and beyond.

The legislators met yesterday at Parliament for the forum’s general assembly and applauded the current progress in the country when it comes to fighting genocide ideology and promoting unity among citizens.

 

But they also warned against the continued campaigns outside the country to deny the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, which they resolved to fight through engaging members of the Rwandan Diaspora abroad and influential people in foreign communities such as politicians, researchers, and activists.

 

“Those who deny the Genocide are still around and Rwandans need to be constantly analysing information they spread so they don’t be misled in any way,” said Théoneste Karenzi, the president of the forum.

 

He said genocide ideology in Rwanda has significantly reduced due to the country’s good governance policies and pro-unity campaigns but he also warned that new ways need to be devised on how to fight the vice outside the country.

“We need to bring our ideas and actions together in fighting against genocide ideology. Those who committed genocide and their supporters keep devising new ways to deny it and we need to come up with new ways to fight them too,” he said.

Karenzi said that during the forthcoming Genocide commemoration week from April 7, members of AGPF-Rwanda will reach out to Rwandans, especially the youth, to spread a message of unity and fighting genocide ideology.

Under its five-year strategic plan to fight genocide ideology in Rwanda and across the world, which was approved by members in April last year, the forum seeks to carry out research and documentation about the Genocide and genocide ideology in the Africa Great Lakes region, run communication campaigns against Genocide ideology and Genocide deniers, and build partnerships with local, and regional and international organisations that fight against genocide.

The group’s Secretary General, MP Ignacienne Nyirarukundo, said that its activities last year included strengthening cooperation with its stakeholders, building capacities for its members to understand issues about genocide ideology, and reaching out to students in secondary schools and universities to teach them about the ‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’ campaign about unity of Rwandans.

The MPs also made efforts to strengthen cooperation with legislators in foreign countries, especially in Europe, as they lobby foreign governments to enact laws against Genocide denial.

“Such activities as those conducted last year will continue in the coming years,” Nyirarukundo told fellow MPs in her presentation of the forum’s report of activities yesterday.

The forum was created in 2015 and is made up of members from both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.

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