The New Times (Kigali)

17 May 2014

Rwanda: Varsity Seeks to Document 1994 Genocide Against Tutsi

The Independent Institute of Lay Adventists of Kigali (Inilak) has started a programme to document the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

This was disclosed on Thursday during an event to mark the 20th commemoration of the Genocide which took place at the Inilak-Rwamagana campus.

The event began with a six-kilometre Walk to Remember involving university students, local leaders and residents from the campus to Kigabiro memorial site.

The Rector of the institute, Dr Jean Ngamije, said the university had embarked on a long-term programme to write down the history that led to the Genocide.

Ngamije said the documentation will help Rwandans learn from the Genocide and ensure similar atrocities never happen again in the country.

"We all know that genocide does not happen spontaneously. It is calculated and takes time to implement. If we can understand and interpret the warning signs with sufficient clarity and act in a decisive way, we can prevent it," Ngamije said.

Inilak has built monuments in all its campuses in honour of the Genocide victims.

"We are working closely with renowned historians to give our students lectures on the history of the Genocide," Ngamije said.

Jean Damascene Rwasamirira, a Rwandan historian with vast knowledge in the country's socio-political history, commended the initiative.

Rwasamirira said Rwanda was a victim of bad leaders that worked as puppets of the colonialists.

"Rwanda has passed through a number of challenges since the pre-colonial era. It all worsened when the infamous Berlin Conference was held. That this institution will teach the students the country's history is a positive step in turning around the future of the country," said the one-time legislator.

The event was also attended by the Governor of Eastern Province, Odette Uwamariya, who promised to assist the university achieve its objectives.

At least 80,000 Tutsi were murdered in Rwamgana District alone during the Genocide.

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