RUBAVU — Ethnic divisions have been eliminated at the Kigali Independent University (ULK) Gisenyi branch, the chairman of Unity and Reconciliation Club, Jean De Dieu Muhire, has said.
Muhire said this recently while contributing to a unity and reconciliation debate at the university auditorium.
The debate was organised by the students’ reconciliation club in conjunction with the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) – part of a national network formed for the purposes of sensitising the university community to champion the benefits of unity and reconciliation countrywide.
“Before the creation of the club, many students harboured Genocide ideology.However, unlike in the past, students have taken a big step towards embracing unity and reconciliation. As such traces of such ideologies have since been dealt with ,” Muhire said. He attributed the positive changes registered to consistent sensitisation campaigns.
“We have instituted plans of extending such discussions to other universities because we want university students to get informed about such important issues in this country,” he said, adding that intellectuals play a big role in influencing mindset change among citizens.
Theogen Kanyamaryo, an official from NURC, observed that ethnic divisions were fuelled by colonialists.
“Rwandans spoke one language, had the same culture and indissoluble unity which was later weakened by colonisation. They had one king. The king was for all the people and the people were loyal to the king. Rwandans were also bonded into clans which created brotherhood among various communities,” he said.
“We all lived in mixed communities. There were no such divisions like Tutsi or Hutu and there were intermarriages. I call upon you as intellectuals to promote that kind of unity we had because with unity we shall always stand but definitely fall if we get divided along useless and primitive ideologies.”