Rwandans and friends of Rwanda living in Uganda, over the weekend, joined their compatriots back home in remembering lives lost during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Hundreds of mourners gathered at the International University of East Africa (IUEA) and carried out commemoration activities that included a public lecture by Dr Fredrick Goloba-Mutebi, a renowned academic and researcher.
Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Uganda Frank Mugambage was joined at the occasion by several heads of diplomatic corps accredited to Uganda.
In his lecture, Goloba-Mutebi called on the international community to step up efforts in the fight against genocide ideology, saying that it cannot be a fight for by Rwanda only.
“Because people of Rwandan extraction are so widespread in the region, the hate ideology is equally spread by Rwandans living in those countries. The threats ofgenocide ideology are much wider than just internally within Rwanda itself. It has to be a regional and international fight,” the academic said.
The ceremony was marked by a play and songs from students, illustrating how the Genocide in Rwanda was executed.
Mugambage lashed at those that keep trivialising the Genocide against the Tutsi – when they rewrite history and deny the truth of what exactly happened.
“It is a moral imperative to fight genocide ideology. You find some people arguing as to whether it should be called the Genocide against the Tutsi. Genocide always targets a group of people. Genocide goes through phases. It can never be spontaneous,” he told the audience.
Donat Kananura, the chairperson of the Banyarwanda community in Uganda, underscored the need to keep remembering the Genocide victims.
He commended Pope Francis for seeking God’s forgiveness for the failure of the Catholic Church and its members, including priests, who got involved in perpetuating the Genocide.
Meanwhile, Rwandans living in Entebbe, a Ugandan town, at the weekend also held a commemoration activity in remembrance of the victims of the Genocide.
Other planned activities include a Walk to Remember to be held at the Uganda Christian University (UCU) this week and a visit to one of the three Genocide memorial sites in Uganda.
There are three memorial sites in Uganda, including Ggolo in Mpigi District, which is home to over 4,000 Genocide victims, while the others are Kasensero and Lambu in Rakai and Masaka districts, respectively.
In 1994, bodies of the victims were dumped into different rivers only to end up on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda.