HUYE - Students at the National University of Rwanda (NUR) were challenged to pull efforts in changing the country’s dark past into a brighter future.
The call was made, yesterday, by the Southern Province Executive Secretary, Jeanne Izabiriza, while closing the mourning week at the university’s memorial site.
“You are still young, struggle to do good, make a difference and strive to move ahead in building this country,” she said.
“This province distinguished itself in the killings; we must always struggle to change this image”.
Izabiriza called upon the university community to use their knowledge and skills to safeguard historical facts about the country, especially the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“We can achieve change; we have the capacity to do it. Do not underestimate yourselves; be confident. With everyone’s participation, everything we want will happen.”
She urged academics to start writing books about the Genocide to retain well-documented facts about the country’s history.
NUR’s Rector, Prof. Silas Lwakabamba, emphasised the importance of critical thinking, which he said, would help students and young people at large to change the flow of history.
“One of the things, I believe was the cause of the Genocide, was the lack of critical thinking. People were misled by the leaders then, to believe in what they were being told. It is very important for institutions, like ours, to start training people to develop critical thinking,” Lwakabamba said.
He appealed to institutions to communicate what they had achieved, as way of portraying the true image of the country.
Lwakabamba pledged the university’s support to survivors, especially orphans.
Dr Deo Byanafashe, a researcher with the university’s Centre for Conflict Management (CCM), told The New Times that the centre would soon release a report on the preparation and execution of the Genocide at the university.
“We are trying to show who planned the Genocide, who participated in it and what the exact number of its victims at the university is. It will also tackle the links between the university intellectuals and the Genocide planners,” Byanafashe said.
Over 500 people, including students and staff, are believed to have been killed at the University during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.