On the 7th day of April, we shall always go back in time to remember when human brutality manifested itself so much that, it culminated into the 1994 Genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda.
Every year, we should remember those innocent lives that were prematurely terminated all in the name of “human madness” in which one race through their egotist selfishness and under the mentor-ship of their “foreign masters”, decided that, they should “cleanse” this land of the undesirable race and in the end, they ended up committing a heinous crime not only against man but also against God.
How can someone explain what happened in the period of 100 days? A period when nearly the whole so called civilized world had forsaken Rwanda such that, the Rwandese were left to sort their fellow Rwandese out!
As we enter into the Genocide commemoration week, we try to critically look at the causes and the perpetuation of this heinous act. Let us examine and re-examine our hearts and question ourselves, “where did we go wrong, why did we allow the animals in us to take over our reasoning”?
Nearly 16 years since, some members of our own society either ignorantly or deliberately are trying to brush all those horrors under the carpet and want the world to believe them when they say that, “there was no Genocide”?
We should always remember the innocent souls forever and ever. How can we explain to the world, that, a neighbour could turn against his long-time friend or worse still, turn on his wife and children, and brutally annihilate them?
The very people who divided us are the ones who are still giving sanctuary to the killers of yesterday and today, they are delaying and denying justice. The
Colonialist came in with his ill intentions. Our grandfathers were many times humiliated and they silently complained of the evil and harsh treatment meted out on them and fellow Africans by the intruders, and how the intruders helped to destroy the administrative structures and status quo that existed before. They divided our land amongst themselves as if it belonged to them. As if this was not bad enough, to drive the last nail into the proverbial coffin, they introduced their infamous system of “divide and rule”.
In order for this system to succeed, they had to destroy the cohesion that existed so as to weaken any resistance to their invasion.
In most African settings, there was what one may call social status e.g. the peasants and the cattle keepers, this was classification based on occupation rather than birth; somesone’s status could change from one occupation to the other.
True, one status may be able to be lower than the other but did not warranty any animosity whatsoever. People lived side by side, intermarried etc.
It is beyond the comprehension of any human being, how people who once lived side by side, could have been convinced to turn on the very neighbours they shared everything, the very neighbour’s children with whose children played, the very women with whom we had shared love and had children with, the very children we had begotten and in cold blood, without any remorse or hesitation to mete out death unto them! How are we better than wild animals?
Wild animals are better than human beings because they do not massacre their fellow animal or even their young ones. Oh Lord help us to be strong and to love one another.
As we remember the events of 1994 and more so, the Genocide, let us put all our energies into rebuilding our beloved land into what it was once, “the land of the Rwandese”.
No matter how much tears we shed, we cannot go back into time to reverse the damage that was done; we should never forget the past, let us trod carefully, never and never should we allow any more acts of racial segregation into our minds.
In this world, there is no punishment befitting the perpetrators of these heinous actions, however, letting them go off scot-free, would encourage others to commit the same.
To all those lives that were brutally taken away, may you arise with the risen Christ; we shall always hold you dear in our hearts, may the good Lord grant you eternal rest.
To those who lost their loved ones, take courage, this world is not our home; we are just passing through, one day we shall all get re-united in Paradise.