The Executive Secretary of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission has complained that greater achievements of reconciliation have been hampered by lack of collective efforts.
Fatuma Ndangiza said this Tuesday while opening the Forgiveness Conference at La Palisse, Nyandungu.
She pointed out that unity and reconciliation was not the sole responsibility of the State, but the private sector, churches and individuals must also be part of the equation.
“Unity and reconciliation brings healing which has been realised on national level but remains a challenge on the individual basis,” said Ndangiza while addressing participants at the global event that was hosted in Rwanda for the first time.
She blamed religious groups for not doing enough to spread national unity and reconciliation especially amongst their congregations.
“Some have been helpful but others are not doing enough to play this critical role,” Ndangiza accused.
She added that had the religious groups played this role of preaching love, unity and reconciliation, the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis probably would not have happened.
Arguing that forgiveness and repentance is a culture that ought to be embraced, Ndangiza hailed popular musician Jean Paul Samputu, the brain behind the forgiveness conference for having thought of contributing towards unity and reconciliation.
Ndangiza told the participants that Government of Rwanda has invested a lot in unity and reconciliation and added that it should not be taken for granted.
“Survivors are struggling to live with the past, years back, the government released up to 60,000 inmates who admitted their role in the 1994 Genocide and asked for pardon,” she said.
Earlier on, in the press conference held at the headquarters World Vision, the guest speaker in the conference, Johann Christophe Arnold from United States, said the conference would be an inspiring event to the whole world.
World Vision are co-sponsors of the event. He said all invited guests will learn a lot from the experiences of unity and reconciliation in Rwanda.
“There many stories here to share, it is amazing to hear that a nation that had faced a tragedy like genocide now has its people living with those who killed their beloved ones,” said Arnold, who is both an author and peace activist.
Arnold also sought forgiveness on behalf of his fellow Americans for having looked on while the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis was taking place.