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Rwanda education ministry unveils Genocide centre for ex-staff

Minister Biruta lays a wreath at the newly-unveiled monument erected in memory of staff who died during the Genocide

Minister Biruta lays a wreath at the newly-unveiled monument erected in memory of staff who died during the Genocide

The Minister of Education, Dr Vincent Biruta, on Tuesday, unveiled a memorial monument for the ministry’s staff, who were killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

During the Genocide, about 64 staff of the ministry, including teachers and support staff, were brutally killed by the interahamwe militia.

The interface of the memorial monument, which faces in the ministry’s building entrance, bears names of the victims, while the second part has a ‘Never Again’ logo and this year’s commemoration theme. Inside the memorial, there is a photo gallery with pictures of those killed in the Genocide.

In his message, Dr Biruta said the commemoration period should be one that brings sustainable co-existence among the ministry employees as well as the relatives of the deceased.

“We have started a Masters Degree in Genocide Studies at National University of Rwanda with a purpose of ensuring that our history is well-documented and not distorted,” he said.

A representative of the survivors’ families, Eric Mushimire, said the initiative of putting up a monument is a sign of support to the survivors.

“People who were sentenced to 10 to 15 years are now being released. I advise survivors to try and live with these people, but be ready that some will come with a negative attitude. Stand firm,” said Mushimire.

This is the third time the ministry was commemorating the victims, according to Sharon Haba, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education.

“This is not the final list, we call upon anyone out there who has information about former employees of the ministry to come to us and we add them on this list,” said Haba.

The vice president of Ibuka, an organisation that takes care of survivors, Egide Nkuranga, appealed to other institutions to emulate what the ministry of education has done as a way of preserving the country’s history.

During the event, several speakers talked about the history of the Genocide against the Tutsi. Former Senator Antoine Mugesera gave a detailed presentation on discrimination cases in Rwanda from the early 1950s until the Genocide in 1994.

Source: The New Times

April 11, 2013   No Comments

UN Admits Failure in 1994 Rwandan Genocide, Pledges Support

The UN logo

The UN logo

The United Nations has pledged to unreservedly support Rwanda’s road towards development, self-reliance, and peace after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, despite the organisation’s poor response during the Genocide.

The pledge was highlighted by the UN Resident Coordinator, Lamin M. Manneh, during an event organised by the entire UN staff in Rwanda to mark the 19th anniversary of the Genocide against the Tutsi, and to remember former UN employees killed in the Genocide.

“For 19 years, the UN has joined with you to foster peace and reconciliation in Rwanda and lay the foundation for the process of transformation that is already underway. We commend the Government of Rwanda for the tremendous progress it has made in rebuilding, uniting, and reconciling the country,” Manneh said after admitting that the organisation used poor judgement in response to the Genocide, which claimed over a million people.

He said the UN has a responsibility to future generations worldwide by taking a stand against evil and standing up for human dignity. “It gives me comfort to note that after the initial terrible mistakes and errors of judgment the UN made in the run up to, and during the Genocide, it has been a faithful partner for Rwanda’s remarkable recovery and reconstruction,” Manneh said.

The event took place at the UNDP compound in Kigali where UN staff, government officials, and relatives of slain former UN Kigali office employees gathered and prayed for the victims.

Self-reliance:

The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide, Jean de Dieu Mucyo, who graced the event, thanked the UN staff for taking the time to remember the victims, saying it is the best way to honour them. Mucyo reminded participants at the event to strive for self-reliance, noting that the Genocide was stopped by Rwandans under the banner of the RPF-Inkotanyi to topple the Genocidal regime.

“We have to live in this country together. We have to be self-reliant,” Mucyo said. Every year, during the commemoration week, the UN staff in Rwanda host a remembrance ceremony in memory of its 68 staff killed during the Genocide.

Some of the victims were allegedly killed by fellow colleagues, such as Callixte Mbarushimana, who is accused of directing and participating in the murder of 32 people, including workmates at the time. Mbarushimana, who is the executive secretary of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), is accused of having used logistics of the UN Kigali office to hunt down and kill Tutsis.

But he remains free in France despite not only his role in the Genocide, but also the continued atrocities attributed to the militia group he heads. Based in DR Congo, the FDLR rank and file are composed of perpetrators of the Genocide. The UN’s staff in Kigali stressed the need to pursue justice, especially at a time when many Genocide suspects are still roaming the world scot-free.

At the weekend, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said his organisation had made efforts against impunity and would not give breathing space to Genocide suspects and fugitives. “Suspected genocidaires and other would-be criminals around the world now know that they will be held accountable,” Ki-moon said. The UN-backed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has tried some of the main actors in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Souce: All Africa

April 11, 2013   No Comments

Rwandans living abroad and friends of Rwanda commemorate the Genocide

Remembering the Rwandan Genocide

Remembering the Rwandan Genocide

Rwandans living abroad as well as friends of Rwandan joined the 19th commemoration of over a million people killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Commemoration activities like Walk to Remember, conferences and vigils with testimonies from survivors, and documentaries on the genocide were held in Haiti, Eritrea, France, Belgium, South Africa, Italy, Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, India, China, Canada, Sweden, USA, DRC, Denmark and South Sudan.

In Abuja, Rwandan Ambassador Joseph Habineza told participants that the “Genocide against the Tutsi was possible because of bad leadership. The first and the second governments planted divisionism among Rwandans and embraced the divide and rule policy imposed by the colonialists.”

In Stockholm, Rwanda’s Ambassador to Sweden and the Scandinavian countries, Venetia Sebudandi, told those who had gathered to commemorate that after the genocide, Rwanda had to turn to unique home grown solutions to cope with the challenges caused by the genocide. “Looking inward to provide answers in situations that seemed impossible led to successes in bettering the lives of all Rwandans.”

Across the ocean, in Canada and the US, commemoration events were held in different cities with a forum organised in Washington, DC as well a Walk to Remember ending at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada.

Meanwhile, Rwanda’s police officers serving under the UN Mission for Stabilisation in Haiti held a commemoration event at the Rwandan base in Jeremie and were joined by UN staff and friends of Rwanda. In South Sudan, RDF peacekeepers in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, together with the Rwandan Community in South Sudan were joined by UN officials for the Walk to Remember.

On April 8th, a commemoration event was held at the Permanent Mission of Rwanda to the United Nations in Geneva. UN officials, diplomats in Geneva, Rwandans and friends of Rwanda lit candles of hope and observed a minute of silence in honour of the victims of the Genocide.

At the event, Soline Nyirahabimana, Rwanda’s Ambassador in Geneva said “self-reliance is about the choices one makes. Rwandans have learnt from the genocide and we must work together, face our challenges and not wait or expect others to address them for us.”

Commemoration activities will continue in Rwanda and across the world until the end of the commemoration period on July 4, 2013.

Souce: Republic of Rwanda

April 11, 2013   No Comments

Rwanda: 3 Held Over Genocide Ideology

Theos Badege

Theos Badege

Three people have been arrested in connection with propagating genocide ideology. Those arrested include one Alexis Nzamwitakuze 29, of Mahoro cell, Muhima Sector in Nyarugenge District, who, while conveying a message on the mourning programme in the area, allegedly told a woman that commemorating is for the Tutsi only.

According to preliminary investigations, the suspect, who is currently detained at Nyamirambo police station, on the evil of April 7, literally told a woman after she asked him where the event will be held that “why do you ask, you Hutu? You just sleep because this concerns only the Tutsi.”

The other two suspects are identified as Alice Mukanoheri of Kanombe Sector in Kicukiro District and Wenceslas Rwange of Kimina cell, Kivu sector in Nyaruguru District, who were arrested on April 7.

Mukanoheri, who is held at Kanombe police station, was overheard saying that “they are lying that we killed them when I can still see their nose.”

Rwange, who is currently held at Muganza police station, is also accused of telling a 62-year old woman, who is a genocide survivor that he would “send her to where her children are.”

The victim’s children were killed during the genocide.

Police Spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Theos Badege, confirmed the arrests.

“It’s sad to see that after 19 years, with all lectures and sensitization campaigns conducted, we can still hear or see such negative ideologies among Rwandans,” he said.

He urged Rwandans to be “one” and unite towards the common good, adding that such negative ideologies are punishable under the law.

According to article 116 of the penal code, any person who publicly shows, by their words, writings, images, or by any other means, that they negate genocide committed, rudely minimizes it or attempts to justify or approve its grounds, or any person who hides or destroys its evidence shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of 10 to 15 years.

However, under Article 135, any person, who commits the crime of genocide ideology and other related offences shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of more than five years to nine years and a fine of Rwf100, 000 to Rwf1 million.

ACP Badege also appealed to Rwandans to universally take part in the commemoration activities.

“Measures are in place to fight and prevent such negative incidents and to further ensure maximum security in the country and in this commemoration period in particular,” he added, calling on the public to maintain the good partnership with police by reporting people involved in such criminal acts.

In a related development, police is also investigating a case in Ngororero District where the yet-to-be known people tried to kill a cow of a 45-year old genocide survivor widow. The incident happened on April 7 at about 11:30pm at her home in Gatumba sector, Mpara cell.

Souce: Chimp Reports

April 11, 2013   No Comments