Religious and civil society leaders meet to reflect on the Genocide against the Tutsi

Kigali 12 April 2019 – Representatives of civil society and faith-based organisations met on Friday for a reflection session on the Genocide against the Tutsi themed “preserving memory, championing humanity: Genocide and post-genocide reconstruction”.

The reflection day aimed at remembering the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi who were members of different faith-based and civil society organisations, reflecting on the failure of some members of these organisation during the genocide as well as discussing their role in ensuring that the Genocide never happens again.

According to Mr. Sekanyange Jean Leonard, Representatives of CSOs since 1990, Rwanda saw many civil society organisations that were against the persecution of Tutsi. This led to the killing of many members of our organisations.

In her remarks, the Ag. Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Governance Board, Dr. Usta Kaitesi, paid tribute to members civil society and faith-based organisations who were killed during the genocide against the Tutsi but also mentioned the failure of some members who were involved in the genocide.

“As believers, we share a common belief that we were created in the image of God but people tried to destroy this image. We had many religious leaders who perpetrated the Genocide” Dr Kaitesi said.

Dr Kaitesi further quoted the Bible (Prov.6:16-19) on the “things that God hates”- the hands that shed innocent blood, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a person who stirs up conflict in the community”.

“We witnessed all of these during the Genocide against the Tutsi” Dr Kaitesi said.

The Reflection session saw a panel discussion on “Preserving the memory, Championing Humanity” during which participants discussed among others, the unity of Rwandans and social fabrics destroyed by the Genocide and ideology and divisionism as well as the role of church leaders and civil society organisations in the reconstruction of the society.

In her closing remarks, Minister of State Alivera Mukabaramba underlined that the country cannot develop without strong collaboration between Government, Civil Society and Faith-based organisations.

Rwanda counts over 700 Faith-based organisations, about 1400 non-government organisations, and about 170 international NGOs.

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