“Commemorating the Rwandan Genocide”

Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future

By Francis Maingaila

Lusaka, Zambia24 (19-04-2024) – The survivors of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, which claimed over one million Tutsi, convened in Lusaka to commemorate the 30th anniversary under the theme “Remember, Unite, and Renew.”

He described Rwanda’s forward vision, shaped by past experiences, with a firm commitment to forging a better future grounded in remembrance, unity, and renewal.

Gakumba emphasized the crucial role of teaching about the Genocide in schools, alongside educating future generations about past atrocities to counter hate ideologies and promote tolerance and understanding.

He also elaborated on ongoing efforts within Rwanda and internationally to preserve the memory of the Genocide.

This solemn occasion serves as a crucial moment not only for remembrance but also for reflecting on Rwanda’s profound transformation over the past three decades.

Gakumba highlighted the historical roots of hate and divisionism in Rwanda, tracing back to colonial policies, and underscored the importance of addressing systemic issues to prevent future atrocities.

Furthermore, he stated that the international community’s failure to intervene during the Genocide serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of indifference and inaction.

He paid tribute to the countless institutions and individuals, both Rwandan and foreign, who heroically contributed during the darkest days of the Genocide, noting that their courage and selflessness serve as beacons of hope amidst the darkness.

Gakumba expressed unequivocal condemnation of genocide denial and revisionism, calling for nations to enact laws to combat these dangerous ideologies. He emphasized the critical importance of confronting denial to honor the memory of the victims and prevent the recurrence of such atrocities.

He expressed gratitude to the survivors and leaders who played instrumental roles in the nation’s transformation, stating that their resilience and determination have been integral to rebuilding a nation torn apart by genocide.

Yet, amidst the commemoration, there lies a solemn call for collective responsibility, particularly among the youth, to preserve Rwanda’s memory and progress.

It is through unity and collaboration that Rwanda seeks to ensure that the horrors of the past are never forgotten and that the promise of “never again” is upheld.

In reaffirming its commitment to protecting the vulnerable, promoting accountability, and ensuring “never again,”

Rwanda emphasizes the importance of global collaboration and partnership. Only through collective action can the world truly honor the memory of the victims and prevent such atrocities from ever happening again.

Minister of Education Duglus Siakalima identified hurt as a significant factor in the Rwandan genocide, used by the Hutu militia to mobilize forces against the Tutsi community.

Siakalima highlighted how the digital era and misuse of social media fuel hate speech and provoke violence, perpetuating atrocities.

He stressed the need for governments to balance freedom of expression with accountability, advocating for strict legislation to curb hate speech both online and offline.

Siakalima also pointed out rays of hope, resilience, and reconciliation, citing Rwanda’s remarkable turnaround driven by visionary leadership, dedication to justice, and the resilience of its populace.

Bishop Banda said renewal emerges as a beacon of hope amidst despair, symbolizing Rwanda’s journey from devastation to resilience.

He emphasized the importance of commemoration in fostering a world of peace, justice, and reconciliation, urging collective action to ensure that the horrors of genocide are never repeated.

Ultimately, the Rwandan Genocide imparts invaluable lessons about the consequences of division, hatred, and mistrust.

It underscores the necessity of unity, dialogue, and collective healing in shaping a brighter tomorrow.

As we honor the memory of those lost, we honor the resilience of the human spirit and our shared resolve to build a future founded on peace and mutual understanding.

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