7 April 2019

Rwanda: 25 Years Later, Nation and World Remember Genocide Against the Tutsi

Photo: New Times
Gishali residents lay to rest the 16 Genocide victims (file photo).

Rwandans in the country and across the world joined by the rest of the global community will today mark the 25th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The government has focused this year's commemoration on educating the youth about the history of the Genocide and seeking their engagement to build a brighter future based on love and humanity instead of hatred and destruction.

The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), Jean-Damascène Bizimana, said that the youth are key in fighting the Genocide ideology and fostering a future marked by unity and reconciliation.

"Today's youth are promoters of love and humanity," he said at an international conference on the Genocide organised in Kigali this week.

In a message for the Genocide commemoration this year, the president of Ibuka, an umbrella organisation for Genocide survivors in Rwanda, Prof Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu, told Sunday Times on Saturday that the occasion should be used to renew commitment to the country.

"My wish is that we all make the commemoration a time to renew our promise and commitment to the country. We need to once again pledge to strive for the unity of Rwandans and build a strong country that we will be happy to leave for our children," he said.

In line with the remembrance, which has been dubbed Kwibuka25, various events have been taking place in the lead up to today's activities.

They include Kwibuka25 International Conference, which took place on Thursday and Friday at Intare Conference Arena in Kigali and brought together more than 400 Genocide Scholars, researchers, academia, policy makers, and survivors.

Today's activities will include laying wreaths at the Kigali Genocide Memorial by the Head of State, President Paul Kagame, accompanied by other invited dignitaries as well as genocide survivors.

Then delegates will head to Kigali Convention Centre, where key remarks will be made, testimonies about the Genocide given, and performances that include songs by local and international artistes for a special Kwibuka25.

In the afternoon, a Walk to Remember will take place, setting off from Parliament Building in Kimihurura at 3 p.m. to Amahoro Stadium.

At 6 p.m, a Night Vigil at the stadium will take place, with local and foreign officials and guests, Genocide survivors, and the youth joining in the activity.

Several foreign dignitaries have joined Rwandans in the country for Kwibuka25, including heads of states and governments from around the world as well as leaders of key international organisations and regional blocs.

The commemoration period is a time to reflect on what happened in the Genocide, how Rwandans have rebuilt their lives so far, and how to move forward.

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