Rwanda’s peaceful future lies with the youth

This year’s commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi clocks 19 years, nearly two decades of trying to come to terms with the distractive nature of humankind.

This year’s commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi clocks 19 years, nearly two decades of trying to come to terms with the distractive nature of humankind.

It has still not sunk in that a once cohesive society can, within just one hundred days, be torn to shreds by a well-planned and orchestrated maniacal frenzy that cost the lives of over a million of its people.

But Rwandans can now have hope that that painful chapter is over-courtesy of its youth.

Children who were born during the Genocide or slightly before, are now young adults. Many have benefitted from government-initiated programmes that have prepared them for a meaningful future.

Unlike their elders who lived through the pre and post-colonial upheavals and were contaminated by ethnic hatred, these young adults are unblemished because they have grown in a just and egalitarian society that has no room for segregation.

But again, they are within the age bracket that makes them malleable to negative influences, some who still live among us.

Giving the youth civic education is not enough; local authorities should also shelter them from closet hate mongers and Genocide deniers who usually come out in the open this season to propagate hate and open old wounds.

It might be too late to rehabilitate the older generation from the effects of the poison they ingested for decades, but the authorities can water down its effects by reminding them of its zero tolerance to the genocidal ideology.

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