7 April 2013

Rwanda: Despite the Genocide, We Are Not Down Yet

Photo: IRIN
Skulls of genocides victims lying at the Murambi Genocide Memorial site in Gikongoro Province, southeastern Rwanda.


At the beginning of last years' Genocide commemoration, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon again reminded the world that it was its collective obligation to work together to ensure that the future was forever free of Genocide:

"This would be the most fitting way to remember those lost in Rwanda 18 years ago, and to honour the resilience of the survivors," were his words.

Today, we again remember and honour the more than one million lives that perished while the whole world was watching. Ki-Moon's words reflect the passive international reaction to the killings and it gave Rwandans a major lesson; not everyone would understand their pain - the ball was in their court.

This year's theme; "Striving for self Reliance", eloquently gives that philosophy meaning.

That the RPF singlehandedly ended the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi should act as a guiding principal in how we handle matters, especially when it comes to the fallout of the Genocide. No one will take care of our victims, it's our obligation. No one should write our history when we can.

What this county went through, and the realization that not many were bothered with how it would heal, was the secret weapon that has driven this country to countless successes, turning it into an ace in multitasking; on one hand seeking justice for the victims, on the other rebuilding a torn country and solving its problems using home grown solutions.

To the victims we say: the perpetrators of the Genocide destroyed lives, but the country survived, and your spirit is the strength of its survival.

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