KIGALI - Rwandans should be proud of their recovery from the 1994 Genocide and its devastating effects, the US Ambassador to Rwanda, Michael Arietti, has said.
He said the country had made a commendable comeback from its dark past to build a nation with a united people aimed at national development. "The pain and a sense of emptiness among those who lost families and friends during the Genocide may still be present, but thanks to their determination and bravery, they have moved on with hope for a better future," he said.
The envoy was speaking on Monday at the embassy premises while unveiling a plaque in memory of 25 American Embassy staff killed during the Genocide. The event was attended by Government officials, embassy staff and surviving relatives of the fallen embassy staff.
Ambassador Arietti and the Executive Secretary of the National Commission against Genocide, Jean du Dieu Mucyo, also laid a wreath at the monument.
The Ambassador echoed US President George W. Bush’s message during his visit to Rwanda on February 19.
"It’s hard to believe that there could be hope after the devastating period of time like, that but there’s," he quoted Bush as saying.
He revealed that when Bush returned to the US after his trip, he notably recognized the bold steps Rwanda had taken in fostering unity and reconciliation among her people, while rebuilding the economy.
The diplomat added that in the past two years, he has witnessed first hand the survivors of the Genocide striving to build a better nation for their children, efforts he said, were equally shared by the rest of Rwandan population.
Mucyo castigated previous regimes for indoctrinating genocide ideology among Rwandans, and urged the population to take a leading role in promoting the message of tolerance, reconciliation and good neighbourliness.
"They used media outlets like Kangura (newspaper) and RTLM (a hate radio station), as well as religions to entrench their evil cause. They did everything to convince the masses that Tutsis must be killed," the former minister of justice said.
Mucyo said that if Genocide masterminds succeeded in mobilising Rwandans to kill their fellow citizens, it should be even easier for the nation to get back to the path of harmony and development.
The president of Ibuka, a Genocide survivors’ organization, Theodore Simburudari, compared the genocide ideology to a pandemic that cannot be hidden because it will always manifest itself.
Simburudari rapped international media organizations which continue to give platforms to Genocide perpetrators to air out their genocide ideologies. He specifically mentioned Voice of America (VOA). He threatened that Ibuka would soon publish names of journalists who cooperate with Genocide revisionists.
A US embassy fund to support children orphaned by the genocide, helps provide tuition fees and scholastic materials to about 27 students.