GICUMBI — Grass roots leaders at Village, Cell and Sector levels have been urged to lead the unity and reconciliation campaigns.
The call was made by officials of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) while meeting Gicumbi district and sector officials on Saturday. The officials had convened for a three-day retreat at Hotel Urumuli.
The retreat that started last Thursday was aimed at among other things assessing their 2008 performance and also called to lay strategies for the 2009 action plan.
During the retreat, the officials conducted consultations with district and provincial leaders on how best to foster unity and reconciliation in the country.
“It is a pleasure for us to conclude this retreat by inviting district and local leaders to give us their views on the strides so far taken in promoting unity and reconciliation among citizens,” Jean Baptist Habyarimana, NURC’s chairman said.
Addressing the participants, NURC’s Executive Secretary, Fatuma Ndangiza urged local leaders to form unity and reconciliation clubs at village and cell levels to sensitise Rwandans on the importance of this drive.
“Development can’t be achieved without reconciling Rwandans who were divided along ethnic lines which led to the 1994 Genocide,” said Ndangiza.
Area Governor Boniface Rucagu, said Unity and Reconciliation has spread in the Northern Province to majority of residents because of concerted efforts through messages conveyed on sign posts and on commercial buildings.
He reiterated his call to residents to stem genocide ideology, enhance unity and embark on development projects to eradicate poverty.
“Genocide ideology and other forms of division based on ethnicity have no room in the Northern Province,” said Rucagu.
Ildephonse Butera, the Gicumbi district vice Mayor for economic affairs, who represented Mayor Bonane Nyangezi at the occasion, pointed out that unity and reconciliation clubs were already established within the district at cell level, in schools and religious institutions.
“In addition partners in development such as World Vision and Peace House have enhanced unity and reconciliation in the district through assisting to build houses for genocide survivors and reconciling former genocide prisoners with genocide survivors,” said Butera.