This year, Rwanda marks the 22nd Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Commonly known as Kwibuka, the period is an important occasion to remember the lives lost, show solidarity with survivors and unite to ensure that what happened never happens again – in Rwanda or anywhere else. Kwibuka is also a chance to learn about inspiring stories of reconciliation and nation building.
The focus for this year is remembering those who perished in the Genocide by fighting its ideology.
Speaking on the Kwibuka preparatory activities, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide, Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana called on Rwandans and friends of Rwanda to partake in the fight against genocide ideology.
“Genocide ideology should be relentlessly fought because Genocide perpetrators and their backers have continued to distort the truth around it,” Dr Bizimana said.
The article 3 of law no 84/2013 of September 11, 2013 punishes the crime of Genocide and other related crimes. It stipulates that “Genocide ideology shall be any deliberate act, committed in public whether orally, written or video means or by any other means which may show that a person is characterized by ethnic, religious, nationality or racial-based with the aim to advocate for the commission of Genocide and support it.”
Dr Bizimana further stated various mechanisms were established to deal with those who deny and trivialise the Genocide. These include: research on the Genocide, talks and discussions about the Genocide and its prevention, and the preservation of genocide proof – Genocide memorials, all materials depicting its history – for historical clarity.
On 7 April, the Guest of Honour will join families of the victims and special guests from around the world to honour the memory of those who perished in the Genocide against the Tutsi. The Guest of Honour will officially kick off the week-long mourning period and 100 days of commemoration.
The National ‘Flame of Remembrance’ will be lit at Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. Known as ‘Urumuli Rutazima’, the flame symbolises remembrance as well as the resilience and courage of Rwandans over the last 22 years. It will burn for 100 days.
Throughout the mourning week and the commemoration period, citizens will gather in all villages nationwide to pay tribute to the innocent lives lost, reflect on the country’s history, and discuss different genocide-related topics focusing on fighting genocide ideology.
Kwibuka is the Kinyarwanda world for ‘remember’ and describes the global commemoration framework.
Join Rwanda in Kwibuka activities by leaving a message of remembrance on www.kwibuka.rw.
Follow @KwibukaRwanda for updated information on Kwibuka22.