Youth urged to participate in Genocide commemoration

The youth have been urged to embrace the Genocide commemoration activities that are to start on Sunday as Rwanda mourns the massacre of the more than a million people killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
A young survivor honours Genocide victims, among them, her relatives, in a past commemoration period. The New Times/ John Mbanda.
A young survivor honours Genocide victims, among them, her relatives, in a past commemoration period. The New Times/ John Mbanda.

The youth have been urged to embrace the Genocide commemoration activities that are to start on Sunday as Rwanda mourns the massacre of the more than a million people killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Yesterday, youth from universities and secondary schools participated in a conference in Kigali organised ahead of the 19th commemoration. 

 

The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against the Genocide, Jean de Dieu Mucyo, said the youth have not been involved enough in the commemoration activities, but said they will change their mindset as they begin to feel responsible and own the activities. 

 

“No one should underestimate the youth, but also the youth need to show their commitment,” Mucyo, who was speaking at the conference, said. 

 

This conference is held annually and is sponsored by Germany cooperation, GIZ.

Dr Ulrike Maenner, the country director of GIZ, commended the activities of the Rwandan youth in the fight against genocide. 

“It reflects the determination of the youth to build the future. We believe the youth can achieve the best through such discussions and self-reflection,” Maenner said, adding that the Germany society’s motive to support anti-genocide activities emanates from their past in the Second World War.

A lot to learn

Eric Mahoro, the Never Again Rwanda programmes director, reiterated the message, asking his fellow youth to embrace the commemoration and pass it on to the next generation.

“We, the youth, should be first to promote the culture of commemorating the Genocide,” Mahoro said, arguing that the youth can learn a lot from the country’s history. 

This year’s conference has been organised under the theme, “Sharing the past, shaping the future building on self-reliance”, which organisers said matches the national theme for the 19th commemoration period—“We Remember for Self-Reliance.”

Mucyo said the commemoration helps build peace, tolerance and peaceful co-existence. 

“At the beginning, only the survivors and the leaders attended the commemoration activities, but now this has changed; everyone now feels part of commemoration,” Mucyo said, adding that the new arrangement to commemorate at village level breeds a sense of unity in communities. 

Although the public will commemorate at village level, the Head of State will visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial centre in Gisozi to light the flame of hope. 

The colour of commemoration has also been changed from purple to grey to match the country’s tradition of mourning.

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