The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC), and religious leaders in the country Thursday lay wreaths on the tombs of victims of the 1994 Tutsi Genocide at Gisozi Memorial Centre.
According to NURC Executive Secretary, Fatuma Ndangiza, the purpose of the visit was not only to give respects to loved ones but also an opportunity for religious leaders to reflect on their failures during the 1994 Tutsi Genocide. She added that this would also enable them to take new stands on advancing reconciliation.
“We believe that if someone is here at the memorial centre, the person is touched in one way or another, spiritually and emotionally, to recognise the importance of reconciliation,” Ndangiza said.
The Commission’s President, Jean Baptiste Habyarimana, said that the failure of religious groups during the Genocide should be recognised by religious leaders themselves and thus play a better role towards reconciliation in their daily activities.
“When I see this, I hate to be called human. The international community should see this and say a concrete ‘Never Again’. May peace prevail in Rwanda,” Ambassador Mussie Hairu, the Regional Director of the United Religions Initiative (URI) for Africa, said of the memorial.
All religious leaders condemned the Genocidaires and promised to do their best to eradicate the Genocide ideology and enhance reconciliation in their activities.
“The Tutsi Genocide is a big shame to us all and as leaders, we have do everything possible to eradicate the Genocide dogma,” Sheikh Said Bakareke, the deputy Mufti of Rwanda said.
“It’s not understandable how this horrible mass killing was perpetrated with all this religion in the country…and the outcome of Genocide is critical to date. All Rwandans are suffering the consequences we have to get to the concrete decision to stop genocide dogma,” The legal representative of Pentecostal association churches in Rwanda, Reverend Samuel Usabwimana, said.
The religions leaders present were Islam, Pentecost, Anglican, and United Baptist.