Rwandans and their friends in United States of America (USA) have gathered in Washington to commemorate victims of Genocide Against Tutsi in 1994. The ceremony took place on 7th April, the International Day for Commemoration of Genocide Against Tutsi.
The 25TH Commemoration was planned by Rwanda embassy in USA and has attracted more than 400 people, including representatives of foreign countries.
The ceremony held different dialogues including the commemoration of genocide against Tutsi, the roots that resulted in Genocide, the lesson to be taken from it and how Rwanda has rebuilt after it. Also, the ceremony reminded the youth, as the main focus of this year’s commemoration, to sustain their heritage of resilience, self-reliance and supporting unity of all Rwandans.
Among prominent speakers were Dr. Peter Pham and Dr. Margee Ensign who lectured about Rwanda’s outstanding development after the genocide. The pair divulged Rwanda’s progress through security, education, healthy, women empowerment and more.
DR. Ensign revealed that “Rwanda is an ambitious country, with capable leader who can be trusted and who is futurist. He [Rwanda’s leader Paul Kagame] searches for new ways of development, deals with country’s history and cares to the genocide survivors, by raising their hope.”
Dr. J Peter Pham concluded that Rwanda, excited by President Paul Kagame, has to be the role model of other countries.
Zilfa Irakoze, one of Rwandan student in USA, tasked youth to avoid Genocide ideology and fight against its denials.
“We are current and future Rwanda, that’s requires us to know our history because we are supposed to remember Genocide Against Tutsi wherever we are in order to avoid its reoccurrence.” She said.
Genocide survivor Jeanne Celestine Lakin told her testimony in Genocide which erupted when she was only nine years old.
She recounted that both her parents and relatives were killed, their house demolished and she experienced rape violence which traumatized her though she finally chose to forgive her perpetrators.
Rwandan ambassador to USA, Mukantabana Mathilde appreciated Rwandans and their friends’ commitment to come and pay their tributes to the victims of Genocide Against Tutsi. She cited that commemoration does not intend to keep people in past agony of Genocide instead, it intends to build sustainable future through healing.
The ambassador narrated the progress of Rwanda since Genocide and insisted that the country is now on the right track because of ‘unity, taking responsibility and necessity-oriented thinking.’
“We found capabilities and willingness in ourselves to oust hatred and divisionism politics, we chose a way that is based on Rwandan values and unity.” She told the audience.
Mukantabana also reminded that there is still a danger posed by Genocide denials, she requested the attendees to be careful and fight against their ideology with all possible means.
Rwanda is commemorating over one million people who were killed in Genocide Against Tutsi in 1994. The week of commemoration commenced on 7th till 13th April, but the period continues right to 100 days, in which Genocide was executed in.
The Express News