International media jets in for Genocide Symposium

Over 50 Journalists from leading international media houses are in the country to cover the International Conference on Genocide as well as activities to mark 15 years after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Culture and Sports Minister  Joseph Habineza (L) listens to journalists after the press conference at the Prime Minister’s Offices yesterday. (Photo/ J . Mbanda).
Culture and Sports Minister Joseph Habineza (L) listens to journalists after the press conference at the Prime Minister’s Offices yesterday. (Photo/ J . Mbanda).

Over 50 Journalists from leading international media houses are in the country to cover the International Conference on Genocide as well as activities to mark 15 years after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The revelation was made yesterday by the Minister of Information Louise Mushikiwabo at a Press conference to brief the media on the current situation ahead of the commemoration week that starts on April 7.

The week will be preceded by an international conference on Genocide to be held in Kigali between April 4 and 6, which is expected to feature several renowned international scholars.
The Symposium is expected to discuss the Genocide, its causes and how to prevent it.

Mushikiwabo said that this year’s event will have exclusive and expansive coverage by the international media with crews from BBC World Service, Al-Jazeera, SABC, Voice of America and 30 leading Media houses from France among others already jetting in to cover the commemoration.

Mushikiwabo who was flanked by the Minister of Sports and Culture, Joseph Habineza and officials from CNLG and IBUKA, added that the government plans to internationalise this year’s commemoration.

CNLG is the National Commission for the Fight Against the Genocide while IBUKA is the umbrella organisation of genocide survivors’ associations countrywide.

This year’s national commemoration will be held at Nyanza, Kicukiro District under the theme “Let us commemorate Genocide against the Tutsi while fighting genocide revisionism.”

According to Habineza, the events this year are planned to be unique because emphasis is at the cell level where people will be required to join the survivors to comfort them, attend different talk shows on Genocide and how to fight its ideology.
They will also be characterised by paying homage to the victims by visiting memorial sites.

The Secretary General of CNLG, Jean De Dieu Mucyo, said this year activities would be decentralised to bring closelr those who lost their loved ones and at the same time remember the genocide from the real places where the killings took place.

He noted that the week beginning 7th will pave the way for different activities ranging from vigils and community debates all aimed at commemorating 15 years after the Genocide.

On the 7th, President Paul Kagame is expected to deliver a keynote address to be broadcast live on TV and Radio stations to mark the beginning of the week.

Meanwhile Rwandans in the Diaspora through their different associations will also be conducting the same activities in different locations and embassies across the globe.

Habineza revealed that talk shows have been organised on both local and international radio and television stations during the week to educate masses about the genocide and all Rwandans will be required to tune in.

The talk shows will mainly centre on tackling the Genocide ideology especially among the youth and how young people can be armed to reject the message of hate as spread by those who planned the genocide.

The officials appealed to the media to act as channels through which true information on the genocide can reach the people especially during the commemoration week.

In a related development, CNLG has also established a fully fledged media centre with internet where local and international journalists can access all the information on the genocide.

Mucyo added that the commission has already finalized plans with all Rwandan Missions to have Rwandan communities participate in the commemoration.

A delegation of Rwandans whose relatives were killed and dumped into Rivers Nyabarongo and Akagera and drifted to Uganda, is set to travel to the country to pay their respects.

Remains in Uganda have since become a contentious issue with some Ugandan authorities being accused of sabotaging plans by Rwanda to give the remains a decent burial.

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