The First Lady of Rwanda Jeannette Kagame has requested the youth to use their potentials and available opportunities in fighting against Genocide ideology and denial.
The 1994 Genocide against Tutsi was the worst tragedy of 20th century where more than one million Rwandans were massacred within 3 months just for being Tutsi, something they did not choose to be.
Rwanda is now commemorating the genocide for the 29th year, and since the last ten years, a youth forum, igihango cy’urugano was launched to join hands in remembering the tragedy, while committing to never again genocide and choosing development path, and unity above all.
The First Lady today joined 1000 youth gathering in Gisagara District-Southern Province for the annual forum, 10th edition.
She first reminded that the 29 years after the genocide, and the 10 years since the forum was launched are fair time in the growth of a human being, enough time to learn something important.
“In the pact of building Rwanda, where do we stand, what have we learnt, how do we protect what we have already achieved?” asked the First Lady to the very attentive youthful audience from across the country, gathering in Gisagara district multipurpose hall.
“This is a great opportunity to pay tribute to the youth who had the same dream and zeal like you, to serve the country. In this gathering, we also discuss, learn from the values of those who liberated our country; it is a good time to commit to making ‘Genocide never again’ a reality.”
From this background, the First Lady attracted the youth’s attention to the discussions in the last forums, for everyone to check whether the outcomes were practical in their daily life.
“As we commit every year, do we play a practical role in promoting unity and protecting what we have achieved, what is our role in fighting genocide denial and ideology, how do you use the internet to show the real image and the history of our country, when you leave this place, do you take time to share with the family the history of our country?” the first lady asked.
The First Lady is of a view that the youth should always bear in mind the patriotism cost those who liberated Rwanda paid to make Rwanda a peaceful country.
“They gave us not only a country, but also the value, development, unity and much more. How can we reward them?” the First Lady asked while also reminding Rwanda’s achievement of Peace after liberation, where, for the first time, Rwanda has spent three decades without an unrest whatsoever.
“We should not take peace for granted,” she said adding that neither should the youth take for granted Rwanda’s achievement in internet penetration, gender equality, child girl education, justice to mention quite a few.
“We should always bear in mind that we are shareholders in Rwanda’s construction project,” she said.
In her speech, the First Lady reminded that the new internet enabled technology and reminded the youth, that it is an education and development enabler, thus the youth should be able to choose the best content, which is important for them.
“Face these traps where some of the youth fell in looking forward to getting rich quickly by using shortcuts,” she said.
“We are a country where you can find genocide survivors, country liberators and those who perpetrated the Genocide and even those who are indifferent. I urge you never to listen anyone who would want you to cherish ethnicity since this never helped anyone,” she said.
On this, she reminded that there are still some elements from the youth who accept to do evil, pretending to do it in the name of the youth and the Rwandans at large.
The First Lady paid tribute to all those who writes books and other arts to keep records of Rwanda’s history, but said there is room to do much more.
She reminded the youth to continue fighting for peace and unity of the country, which they will never regret, but will leave a great legacy.
The commemoration event included several officials from the Ministry of Unity and Civic Engagement-Minubumwe and researchers.
Clarisse Munezero, Permanent Secretary at Minubumwe said that the genocide commemoration is an opportunity to pay tribute to Genocide victims, to remember their lives and to commit to “Genocide never again”.
From historical perspective, she reminded that they were sitting in a district where genocide masterminds hail from and those include Joseph Habyarimana Gitera who invented to notorious “Ten commandments of the Hutu” and Theodore Sindikubwabo, the president who led the country into the direct implementation of the Genocide against Tutsi in 1994.
Around this idea, Tom Ndahiro indicated that the world Genocide against Tutsi was applied since 1959 with the coming of Gitera, abanyuramatwi choir and many other Hutu extremists and continued through years until the culmination of the tragedy in April 1994.
The Genocidal machinery, he said, was not targeting Rwanda, but the region, reason why the region is still affected by the massacres targeting the Tutsi here and there in the great lakes region.