The subject became a matter of concern when Rwandans in Canada gathered in Toronto to pay their tributes to over one million people who were killed during 100 days of Genocide Against Tutsi in 1994.
During the session of April, 20, Rwandan Special Advisor in Military Affairs to the United States of America and Canada, Brig. Gen Vincent Nyakarundi, demanded current Rwandan youth to replicate RPF’s heroism, which stopped Genocide, through enhancing patriotic values and defending development achieved by the country.
Brig. Gen Nyakarundi was addressing Rwandans based in Toronto and surrounding cities like Hamilton, Brampton, Mississauga, Ajax and more. The event was organized by Rwandan youth, whom most of them, unsurprisingly, were born after the Genocide, minding that almost 58% of current Rwandans haven’t seen Genocide 25 years ago.
Rwandan commissioner to Canada, Shakilla Umutoni and deputy of Ontario province, Aris Babikian, among other prominent figures, were also in attendance.
Brig Gen Nyakarundi informed the youth-dominated audience about the situation that led Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) to grab weapons and conquer Rwandan-then-government. He cited divisionism and segregations, which forced hundreds of thousands to flee their native country, as the main reasons why it was necessary to risk lives in Liberation War that lasted four years and marked the end of Genocide Against Tutsi.
Apparently, RPF, who were fighting for the right of Rwandan refugees scattered across the world, had run out of options unless to launch an annexing war in full recognition that some of its combats would surely lose their lives, with former chief, Fred Rwigema, among the first to die in the long and fierce battle. Should the then-government have allowed Rwandan refugees to peacefully return back in country, Liberation war of 1990-1994 should probably have been unnecessary. But that wasn’t the case to these young Rwandans who continuously faced various discriminations in their host countries.
Brig Gen Nyakarundi implored youth to honor these sacrifices and to replicate RPF’s patriotic values in their daily life.
Such statements weren’t easily understood as some questioned the reasons to replicate RPF’s example while the circumstances and time are different. “Times aren’t the same, you fought for a country because you didn’t have it [access on it], now we are in different era [we have access to our country], how can you encourage us to sacrifice for a country while we are well welcomed in our host countries, having all basics and facing no segregations as you experienced in refuge?” One question rolled out.
Brig. Gen stepped in to respond, “Even to understand that Rwanda is where it is because of these sacrifices, you should try to replicate their examples. You can’t just feel that we have achieved everything.” He said.
Another one asked how a young person who is still fighting to earn life be told to sacrifice for a country. Brig. Gen clarified that Rwanda wants its youth to build their prosperity first but also not to forget their country.
Deputy Babikian of Ontario enticed Rwandans to never succumb against Genocide denials. He referred that Genocide against Armenians still face deniers despite happening in 103 years ago.
He then asked attendees to sign his petition designed to request Ontario parliament that the month of April be dedicated for commemoration of Genocide.
Shakilla Mutoni praised the initiatives of youth who organized the event, insisting that the future of the country will depend on them.
The event featured a moment of reading 100 names of victims, each representing a day of Genocide Against Tutsi.
After the event, Brig. Gen Nyakarundi staged discussions with some influential Rwandans based in Ontario, once again encouraging them to strengthen their patriotism, partnership and fighting divisionism among them.
Commemoration events are ongoing in Canada, the next round will take place in Hamilton town, on April, 27, 2019.
The Express News