The theme of this year’s Genocide Memorial Ceremonies is evolving on having “Hope” (Hope, Icyizere, and Espoir).
Genocide being a human tragedy, calls for all to always remember such that, nobody will ever be caught in the same situation. It is not a period of resurrecting the past but a period of reflecting on the past and asking ourselves as to why, yes, with a very big WHY?
Why did people degenerate so low, lower than wild animals to the extent of doing what they did? Indoctrination, brainwashing, racial hatred, among others could have triggered the engineers of such a scheme to plan and execute what they did!
One may go on and on lamenting on whatever did trigger such thoughts; the bottom line is that, it took a lot of “madness” (insanity) for people to do what they did!
Some scholars wanted to attribute it to the “barbaric” nature of Africans, far from it, the Europeans, Asians and Africans have experienced such spontaneous actions at one time or the other and hence, it must be classified as a “general human trait” devoid of race and colour.
When elite members of the so called first world Countries in Europe got involved (maybe, without whose involvement if it may have ever taken place) in the planning and execution of the Rwanda Genocide, we are left at a loss of what to say.
I am not in any way trying to tarnish the good image of the God fearing people of this world but, I for one, hailing from the Catholic faith, I was and I’m still disturbed by the fact that, the very priests that we call “Padre” (our fathers), descended upon the helpless masses and lured them into their death traps so that the killers’ work could be made easier!
This reminds me of the Africa writer in the name of Chinua Achebe, in his novel, “Things Fall Apart”, the famous Okwonko decided to turn against the boy (Ikemefuna) and slashed him to death despite the boy crying out to him “father, they are killing me”.
In the end, he ends up hanging himself in a bid to escape from the long arm of the law!
Later on, his son condemns the father’s act and says that, “those that kill by the machete will perish by the machete”, that was after he had been told that, his father had hang himself.
When we see the same padres that always preached against sinning, they themselves abetting the worst sin (sacrilege), this leaves us wondering as to whether we have any business attending mass, celebrated by such priests!
Though this has greatly tarnished the image of the Church, it is important to note that, there are always “wolves” among the sheep!
In Christianity (maybe other faiths too), we are taught that, there is life after death. Not that we should terminate life on this earth but should allow God’s will to be done.
As we remember all those innocent people, whose lives were brutally and prematurely terminated, at the hands of the “Pontius Pilate” of this world, the only thing we can do is to earnestly pray to the Almighty God that, he may instil in our hearts, the Love and Respect for one another.
May we get the courage to come to terms with what happened to this nation so that we can avoid it ever happening again.
As people who believe in life after death, may all those lives that were brutally terminated be resurrected in conformity with the scriptures, 1 Cor. 15: 20-22 – “The reuniting of the spirit body with the physical body of flesh and bones after death. After resurrection, the spirit and body will never again be separated, and the person will become immortal”.
We Hope, all the victims of the Genocide will be resurrected and granted a better life after death. May their souls rest in Eternal Peace, forever and ever, Amen!