The Rwandan Community in Dayton, Ohio in the United States of America (USA) gathered to pay their homage to more than one million victims who lost their lives in 1994 Genocide Against Tutsi.
The event was attended by more than one hundred people from neighboring cities on April 13, 2019 at the University of Dayton.
Discussions focused on how Genocide plans were prepared and executed to the extent of wiping more than one million in just 100 days.
The event also featured testimonies from survivors who shared their struggles during Genocide. Mr. Kizito Kalima, based in Indianapolis, recounted his journey towards surviving and healing wounds. He chose to proper his life beyond his anguish and instead decided to pledge his contribution towards healing the society. Kalima founded “The Peace Center for Forgiveness & Reconciliation”
Author Kagabo Jean Leonard Kagabo shared his survivor journey for the very first time in the last 25 years. Kagabo narrated how his parents and siblings were killed during the Genocide Against Tutsi. Last year, he published his new book,
Despite losing their parents, the 2 survivors chose to forgive their perpetrators in order to heal their own hearts and give their much-needed contribution in uniting and reconciling the Rwandan society.
Representative of the Rwandan community in Midwest, USA, Nxumalo Ruhaya, said that commemoration was a responsibility , a duty that must be carried on for generations to come.
Ruhays said : _“we came here to pay tribute, to commemorate our people, because it is our responsibility. We commemorate not only to honor, but also to advocate for the victims who died because of how they were. We commemorate for our children to know what happened, so they will grow to build a better future, an United Rwanda. If we don’t commemorate, perpetrators of Genocide Against Tutsi will be the winners of this tragedy, because what they wish is that we forget. That will not happen, we will perpetually commemorate, now and in the future.”_
Commissioner Matt Joseph, representing the Mayor of the City of Dayton, said his town accepts all people without any discrimination. He encouraged the audience to seek and build unity, to promote human rights and avoid divisionism.
Rwandan Youth Commisionner in USA, Kwitonda Leonard, tasked youth to continue their participation in commemoration events and other programs designated to develop Rwanda. Kwitonda reminded youth that Genocide was stopped by young people, who gave up everything to stop the slaughte and thereafter, reconciled Rwandans whose hearts were deeply grieved.
Eugénie K. Kirenga a Genocide Survivor wh9 lives in Dayton, OH and who organized the Commemoration thanked the University of Dayton and the City for their support.
Commemoration events in Midwest will continue at Michigan State University the next week while, on April 27, #Kwibuka25 will be held at the University of Dame in Indiana. Canadian Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire, who was the Commander of the UN Peacekeeping force in Rwanda during the time Genocide, is the event’s Keynote Speaker.
The Express News