KIGALI - AN eerie silence descends on the country today as Rwandans begin Genocide Commemoration Week. Flags are flying at half-mast.
Speaking to Sunday Times on Friday, the Executive Secretary of the newly established Genocide Commission, Jean de Dieu Mucyo, denounced Genocide revisionists. “They are attempting to re-write Rwanda’s history. It’s our responsibility to stand up and fight them,” Mucyo said in an interview at Novotel Hotel, Kigali. “They want to obscure the truth and depict genocide-guilty murderers as innocent.”
On March 29, a conference called by a group of well known deniers of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda ended in chaos in the Canadian city of Montréal.
Hundreds of people, many of them Rwandans living in Canada, waving placards, heckled the organisers of the conference. Police had to be called to maintain order. Notable among the protesters was the Canadian Jewish Congress which had urged the Canadian government to block the conference saying it was against Canadian law.
Canada has enacted a law that makes it an offence to deny the Holocaust. The Canadian Jewish Congress wanted the same to be applied to the Genocide against Tutsis. Mucyo said it was high time the World dealt firmly with 1994 Genocide perpetrators; “apologists of mass murder in Rwanda must be condemned,” he said.
The Genocide Commission was set up last year to establish a framework for the exchange of ideas on Genocide, its consequences and the strategies for its prevention and eradication.
Mucyo explained that the Genocide Commission will carry out national research and act as a documentation centre on Genocide.
“The other objective is to advance the cause of Genocide survivors, both within the country or abroad,” Mucyo added.
April 7, 2008 marks the 14th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide. The official ceremony will take place tomorrow in Nyamata, Bugesera district.
This year’s theme is: “Let us commemorate genocide while fighting against the genocide ideology; render assistance to survivors while working for development.”