The fight against genocide ideology and quest to foster unity and reconciliation have received a major boost following the backing of the effort by current and former top government officials through their association, Unity Club.
Unity Club on Tuesday announced that they were joining the recently established Unity and Reconciliation Forum through a campaign that will run up to June 17.
The forum, was flagged off Monday in Musanze District, and it is expected to last until June 17 at district level before another round is launched at sector level.
The forum which was introduced by the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC), is considered as yet another avenue through which the government seeks to continue forging ways to eradicate genocide ideology.
Through the forum, community members will sit with leaders and other stakeholders to openly discuss issues that may impede reconciliation and collectively come up with remedies to counter the Genocide ideology.
Johnson Mugaga, the head of unity and national identity and public awareness at NURC, says that despite commendable strides the country has made as far as promoting unity among Rwandans is concerned, “wounds” are still as fresh—even 23 years after the Genocide against the Tutsi.
This explains why we need every member of the community, most especially opinion leaders, to take charge of nurturing unity and reconciliation among Rwandans, he said.
Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa, the first Vice Chairperson of Unity Club said that members of the association are joining the month-long campaign to work with grassroots leaders, district officials and NURC leaders in different activities aimed at promoting unity and reconciliation across the country.
“In an effort to continue building and strengthening unity and reconciliation in our country, we found it essential that those we consider as opinion leaders, including current and former cabinet members and their spouses, among other leaders, join this forum in different districts and sectors,” Nsanzabaganwa told reporters.
She was speaking on Tuesday at an event to brief Unity Club members on the criteria they would follow in taking part in the campaign.
The campaign will also involve, but not limited to, Unity Club members, protectors of friendship pact, commonly referred to as Abarinzi b’igihango, as well as commissioners from NURC.
During these three weeks, we hope to have shone the light of unity to as many Rwandans as possible in all corners of the country for social cohesion.
“Most significantly, former leaders are needed because their experience is very vital. By convening all current and former leaders, plus other opinion leaders in different sectors to share knowledge and experiences in such a forum, we hope it will build a stronger society free from genocide ideology and discrimination,” Nsanzabaganwa added.
She added that the new initiative augurs well with the vision of Unity Club, which is to create a forum where members, and other Rwandans, are inspired to have a proactive dialogue in order to foster mutual responsibility in addressing social problems hindering Rwanda’s development.
Formed in 1996, two years after the Genocide against the Tutsi, Unity Club has been instrumental in promoting social cohesion and contributing to the country’s sustainable socio-economic development, through several charitable initiatives toward vulnerable Genocide survivors, widows, among others.
In 2015, NURC findings put reconciliation in Rwanda was at 92.5 per cent.