Pre-Kwibuka Activities

Pre-Kwibuka Activities

Speech by Olivier Mazimpaka, the President of GAERG during AERG GAERG Week’s activities | Nyamata, March 18, 2017

Speech by Emmanuel Twahirwa, AERG’s Coordinator during AERG GAERG Week’s activities | Nyamata, March 18, 2017

Speech by Rutayisire Michael Jackson, Ibuka’s Vice President in Bugesera District during AERG GAERG Week’s activities | Nyamata, March 18, 2017

This Lecture on the killings and torture of Tutsis in Bugesera from 1961-1994 was delivered by Mzee Emmanuel Ndashimye during AERG GAERG Week | Nyamata, March 18, 2017.

Speech by Emmanuel Twahirwa, AERG’s Coordinator at the launch of the 2017 AERG GAERG Week’s activities in Nyaruguru District| Nyaruguru, March 11, 2017.

Speech by Jean Pierre Nkuranga, the Ibuka Commissioner at the launch of the 2017 AERG GAERG Week’s activities in Nyaruguru District| Nyaruguru, March 11, 2017

Speech by Marie Rose Mureshyankwano, the Governor of the Southern Province at the launch of the 2017 AERG GAERG Week’s activities in Nyaruguru District| Nyaruguru, March 11, 2017

“Remember the Genocide against the Tutsi – Fight Genocide Ideology – Build on Our Progress”

“Remember the Genocide against the Tutsi – Fight Genocide Ideology – Build on Our Progress”- Rwanda to mark 23rd Commemoration of Genocide

Kigali, 21 March 2017 – This year, Rwanda marks the 23rd Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Themed “Remember the Genocide against the Tutsi – Fight Genocide Ideology – Build on Our Progress”, this year’s Commemoration will be an occasion for Rwandans from all walks of life to pay tribute to the more than million innocent lives lost.

On 7 April 2017, events will be held at national and village levels to kick off the National Mourning Week. Throughout the week, Rwandans throughout the country will reiterate their commitment to fight genocide ideology and reflect on the country’s journey of unity and reconciliation in the last 23 years. The Mourning Week will be concluded on 13 April 2017 with an event to pay respect to politicians killed for opposing the inhumane activities of the genocidal government.

In the 100 days of the Commemoration period, Rwandans and friends of Rwanda will hold discussions on how best to encourage and ensure the current progress in socio-economic growth for the people of Rwanda. Good governance is considered a main pillar in the fight against genocide ideology.

Speaking about the 23rd Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide, Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana said:“The Genocide against the Tutsi was an attempt to break down our potential and rip apart our unity. In 100 days we lost 1million friends, family members, neighbors, leaders and future leaders.  To honor the memory of those lost, we will spend 100 days coming together. We will spend the rest of our lives fighting genocide ideology – with all the tools in our possession.  Good governance, continued and sustainable growth and remembering our loved ones are our weapons of choice.”

The Genocide against the Tutsi began on April 7, 1994 and lasted 100 days. A research study commissioned by the Ministry of Local Government in 2000 concluded that an approximate total of 1,074,017 were killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Kigali Genocide Memorial to host Commemoration of Families Completely Wiped Out in the Genocide against the Tutsi

Kigali Genocide Memorial to host Commemoration of Families Completely Wiped Out in the Genocide against the Tutsi

GAERG, a Rwandan graduates Genocide survivors organisation, will commemorate families who were completely wiped out in the Genocide against Tutsi. This event will take place at the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Gisozi, Kigali on Saturday 21 May 2016 starting from 4pm.
Charles Habonimana, President of GAERG, said that completely wiped out families is a proof that the Genocide was planned and systematically executed to exterminate the Tutsi.
“We remember completely wiped out families to ensure that their memories never fade away. Remembering them is our priority as we pay respect to all the families killed in the Genocide against the Tutsi. Remembering them is a pact we have with them, ” he said.
A completely wiped out family is a family whose members were entirely killed, with no survivor to continue the family line. To date, 6,914 completely perished families composed of 30,618 members have been identified in 14 districts. The target is to cover all 30 districts of Rwanda.
Since 2009, the families are remembered under the theme, “You Will Never Be Forgotten While I Am Still Alive”.
Relating this the theme to Kwibuka22, Habonimana said: “We are alive to commemorate and tell the story of wiped out families. The collection and preservation of this history is another sign of defeating denial. As young generations we need to act to rebuild the country and defeat denial. That is what will inspire the future generation.”
This year’s commemoration event will be held at Kigali Genocide Memorial – the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi and a place for remembrance and learning.
This year is the eighth time completely wipe out families have been remembered.
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About GAERG
GAERG was founded by Rwandan graduates Genocide survivors in 2003 with a mission of creating a world where the memory of genocide is preserved and a self-sustaining genocide survivor’s community exists.
Members of the organisation are grouped into families, with a father, a mother and children. This model of grouping them into families came as a mechanism of covering the gap of parents by enabling orphans to raise their peers.
About completely wiped out families:
To-date, 6,914 completely perished families composed of 30,618 members have been identified in 14 districts.
For the first time, the completely wiped out families were remembered on 06th June 2009, at Ntarama Genocide Memorial in Bugesera District.
On 22nd May 2010; 682 families composed of 2,812 people from Nyamagabe District were remembered at Murambi Genocide Memorial.
On 21st May 2011; 2,839 families composed of 13,371 people from Karongi District were remembered at Bisesero Genocide Memorial.
On 9th June 2012; 2,110 families composed of 8,436 people from Gasabo, Kicukiro and Nyarugenge Districts were remembered at Nyanza Genocide Memorial.
For the 5th time, on 4th May 2013, GAERG members remembered 86 families composed of 366 people from Gatsibo District.
On 24th May 2014; 461 families composed of 1,897 people from Musanze, Rulindo, Gakenke, Gicumbi and Burera districts were remembered in Musanze.
Last year, 16th May 2015, GAERG members remembered 822 families identified in Ruhango, Muhanga and Kamonyi districts in Southern Province. The families were composed of 3,742 people.
This year the commemoration event will be held at Kigali Genocide Memorial – the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi, a place for remembrance and learning.

Thousands of Gasabo District residents visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial for Kwibuka22

Thousands of Gasabo District residents visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial for Kwibuka22

 

On Thursday 28 April 2016, despite the heavy rain, over 5,000 residents of Gasabo District walked to the Kigali Genocide Memorial to remember the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

Led by the District’s Vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs, Languide Nyirabahire, residents toured the Memorial exhibits to learn the history of the Genocide and laid wreaths on the mass graves to pay tribute to the victims. More than 250,000 victims of the Genocide are buried at the Kigali Genocide Memorial.

Speaking at the commemoration event, the Vice Mayor said that young Rwandans must shoulder the responsibility of rebuilding Rwanda and creating a brighter future.

“Thank you for coming in big numbers in this rain. It is a testament of your love to the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi. We want you to learn from the past. It was the youth who were used to kill and destroy, but today, you young people have to use your strength to rebuild this country.”

The Vice Mayor also called upon parents to teach their children the history of the Genocide and to fight genocide ideology.

The visit by local residents to the Kigali Genocide Memorial, which is located in Gasabo District, was also to reaffirm the commitment of fighting genocide ideology and to encourage residents to support the work of the memorial.

Young Rwandans remember their history at the Our Past event at Kigali Genocide Memorial

Young Rwandans remember their history at the Our Past event at Kigali Genocide Memorial

More than one thousand young people joined Rwanda’s Minister of Justice, Johnston Busingye, for the fifth ‘Our Past’ event at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. The young Rwandans came together to remember the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi and learn about their country’s history.

Our Past is an annual event that first took place in 2012. It is organised by young people, for young people, and takes place during the Kwibuka commemoration period. It brings together Rwandans from different parts of the country and their friends from abroad. The purpose is to teach about Rwanda’s bad history that led to the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994. The event also aims encourage young people to be part of rebuilding their country and sow peace in their minds for the unity and reconciliation of all Rwandans.

This year’s Our Past was supported by a range of partners including the Aegis Trust, the Kigali Genocide Memorial and the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide. It was organised by Sick City, a youth run entertainment company that promotes music and modern dance in Rwanda.

The Our Past show included talented young Rwandans who shared messages of peace, hope, history and renewal through poems, songs and drama. The performances emphasises that young Rwandans still have much to do to rebuild Rwanda which was all but destroyed in the Genocide against the Tutsi 1994. The event was especially notable because it was attended by Rwandans who were born after the Genocide.

“Though we were not born yet during Genocide, this is our time to remember and get to know what happened in the Genocide, fight against its ideology and make our Rwanda a peaceful country,” said Jonathan, one of the attendees.

As part of the event, guests lit candles to remember the victims, show support to survivors and as a sign of hope for the future.

Kwibuka22: President Kagame and First Lady join thousands of Rwandan youth in a Walk To Remember and Night Vigil

Kwibuka22: President Kagame and First Lady join thousands of Rwandan youth in a Walk To Remember and Night Vigil

April 9, 2016; President Paul Kagame, First Lady Jeannette Kagame and other top government officials joined thousands of Rwandan youth in a Walk To Remember and Night Vigil as part of the series of events to mark the 22nd commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi (Kwibuka22). The event was also attended by friends of Rwanda including members of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM).

The walk started at the parliamentary building and ended at the Amahoro National Stadium where thousands of Rwandans had gathered for a night vigil.

In his remarks, the president of genocide survivors umbrella Ibuka, Prof DUSINGIZEMUNGU Jean Pierre started by comforting the survivors of genocide and acknowledging the zeal with which they faced the post genocide challenges.

He thanked the government for its efforts to support genocide survivors ranging from medical care, education, shelter, etc. All these efforts have enabled them to integrate into the society where they have slowly moved from being beneficiaries of government support but have also managed to contribute to the development of their country. However, more still needs to be done so that the still existing challenges can be tackled.

He denounced the deniers of genocide and their supporters where he specifically mentioned some French authorities who supported the genocidal regime and who continue to play down their involvement in the genocide against the Tutsi. Regarding the comments recently made Alain Juppé, the French Foreign Minister during the genocide period denying charges against his government for its alleged role in the genocide, Prof Dusingizemungu deplored the comments emphasizing the role the French government played in the genocide. “Alain Juppe and your colleagues, in one way or another, carry the blood of Rwandans in your hands”; he said. He further thanked friends of Rwanda, notably Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli, for their show of solidarity with Rwandans during these difficult moments.

Genocide survivor Charles Habonimana gave a testimony of his tragic journey during the genocide. In a family of 8 children and both parents, only him and his elder sister managed to survive.

In his testimony, he thanked president Kagame and the former RPA soldiers who stood firm and halted the genocide and went on to build a country that now everyone feels proud to call home. “Where we were hiding, in the debris of houses, in bushes, in swamps, etc, we had no hope of surviving. Everyone was only wondering when his /her turn shall come, to be slaughtered. It’s during that dilemma that we received a message of hope; we saw the light and breathed again. In the past 22 years, we have seen a country that was full of tears and agony coming back to its normalcy. In one word, we saw the country resurrecting;” He testified.

He thanked everyone who has played a role in the restoration of the country and the survivors of genocide in particular.

President Paul Kagame commended Rwandans and especially the youth who had participated in the event for acknowledging their role in shaping the future of the country.

“The youth of Rwanda have shown that they take ownership and responsibility for the well being of our country and our people;” he said.

He further said that in spite of the fact that there are no adequate words to explain the pain in the hearts of Rwandans, it’s not where the story about Rwanda ends. On the foundation of tragedy, a new life has begun. In the past 22 years Rwandans have managed to come together and matched towards a common goal: building the dignified nation that people deserve.

He further warned some elements in the country, the region and beyond, who may be intending to destabilize the country or to destroy it, stating that Rwandans are ready to secure it and protect what has been achieved. “We may not have many resources but we have the will, power & determination to rebuild and protect our nation;” he said.

The event ended with songs to comfort the souls of those who are grieving.

President Kagame and President Magufuli launch Kwibuka22 at the Kigali Genocide Memorial

President Kagame and President Magufuli launch Kwibuka22 at the Kigali Genocide Memorial

President Kagame and his counterpart, Dr John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, today marked the start of the annual commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi by lighting the Flame of Remembrance at the Kigali Genocide Memorial.

The commemoration ceremony began with the Presidents and their families laying wreaths on the burial place where more than 250,000 victims are laid to rest. President Kagame and President Magufuli then proceeded to light the Flame of Remembrance – a symbol of the courage, hope and resilience of Rwandans since the Genocide against the Tutsi.
Speaking on this year’s theme, Dr Jean-Damascene Bizimana, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide, urged Rwandans to reject genocide ideology in their everyday lives.
“Fighting the ideology of genocide is possible. Here in Rwanda, we have chosen to do so – today, tomorrow and into the future. It is the responsibility of us all – government, citizens, civil society and the private sector. Let us stay strong as we remember and continue to fight genocide ideology during Kwibuka22 and afterwards,” Dr Bizimana said.

Dr Bizimana took the opportunity to thank Germany and other nations for bringing genocide perpetrators to justice, while condemning the failure and unwillingness of some countries that still harbour perpetrators to prosecute them.
“The more than one million people killed in the Genocide against the Tutsi are people we knew. Each had a name. Each was loved,” Dr Bizimana said.

After the ceremony, President Magufuli toured the memorial’s exhibition with his wife, Janet Magufuli and was accompanied by President Kagame, First Lady Jeannette Kagame and First Daughter Ange Kagame. The tour gave President Magufuli and the First Lady the opportunity to learn about the history of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
“Rwanda’s story is a lesson for the world and one we must learn from. I pray for the victims, survivors and all Rwandans. We cannot change the past, but we can do something in the present and the future so that ‘Never Again’ is a reality,” President Magufuli said after signing the memorial guestbook.

Commemoration events for Kwibuka22 will take place in Rwanda and around the world over the next three months, including at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. To learn about events happening at the memorial, follow @Kigali_Memorial on Twitter and Instagram.
For more information about Kwibuka22, visit the official Kwibuka website and follow @KwibukaRwanda on Twitter.

UN Secretary-General’s Message for Kwibuka22

UN Secretary-General’s Message for Kwibuka22

In 1994, more than 800,000 people were systematically murdered throughout Rwanda.  The vast majority were Tutsi, but moderate Hutu, Twa and others were also targeted.  On this Day, we remember all who perished in the genocide and renew our resolve to prevent such atrocities from ever being repeated, anywhere in the world.

We should all be inspired by the survivors’ courage in showing that reconciliation is possible even after such a tragedy.  With the Great Lakes region still facing serious threats to peace and security, healing and reconstruction remain essential.

Honouring the victims of the genocide in Rwanda also means working for justice and accountability.  I commend United Nations Member States in the region and beyond for their continued efforts to arrest and hand over remaining fugitives and end impunity.  The best way to ensure that genocide and other egregious violations of human rights and international law can never occur again is to acknowledge shared responsibility and commit to shared action to protect those at risk.

Genocide is not a single event.  It is a process that takes time and preparation.  History has repeatedly demonstrated that no part of the world is immune.  One of the key warning signs is the spread of hate speech in public discourse and the media that targets particular communities.

The theme of this year’s observance is “Fighting Genocide Ideology”.  It is essential that Governments, the judiciary and civil society stand firm against hate speech and those who incite division and violence.  We must promote inclusion, dialogue and the rule of law to establish peaceful and just societies.

The history of Rwanda teaches us an essential lesson.  While the capacity for the deepest evil resides in all societies, so too do the qualities of understanding, generosity and reconciliation.  Let us nurture these hallmarks of our common humanity to help build a life of dignity and security for all.

Read statement here.

http://www.cnlg.gov.rw/news-details/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=775&cHash=73a9a85654219a0164b088ecfa7f510e#.WNI5nhh7FPM

Kigali Genocide Memorial to host Kwibuka22 Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi

Kigali Genocide Memorial to host Kwibuka22 Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi

The Kigali Genocide Memorial will host the 22nd Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. More than 500 guests including international leaders, dignitaries, survivors and their families and representatives of survivor organisations will attend the event on the morning of 7 April 2016. The commemoration period is known as Kwibuka, the Kinyarwanda word for remembrance.

As part of the commemoration, the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, will light the Flame of Remembrance, Urumuri Rutazima, beginning the 100 days of mourning. The Flame of Remembrance symbolises the courage and resilience of Rwandans over the last 22 years.
“The Kigali Genocide Memorial is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide. We are a home for survivors, relatives and friends of victims to remember their loved ones. During Kwibuka22, we invite visitors to pay their respects by touring the memorial and laying a flower on the burial place. In Rwandan culture, we light a fire as we mourn lost loved ones and we will honour this tradition by lighting the Flame of Remembrance on April 7, 22 years after the Genocide began,” said Honore Gatera, Manager of the Kigali Genocide Memorial.
Speaking on Kwibuka 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 join 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.
Education is key to fighting genocide ideology and denial. As a place of remembrance and learning, the Kigali Genocide Memorial plays an important role in educating about genocide and mass atrocities so that ‘Never Again’ is a reality.
During the 100 days of Kwibuka, we invite everyone to leave a message in the memorial’s digital guestbook as a way to remember the victims and show support to survivors. You can leave your message here.
For more information about the Kigali Genocide Memorial, visit www.kgm.rw and follow @Kigali_Memorial on Twitter.
About the Kigali Genocide Memorial
The Kigali Genocide Memorial includes three permanent exhibitions, the largest of which documents the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. There is also a children’s memorial and an exhibition on the history of genocide around the world. The education centre, gardens, and burial place contribute to a meaningful tribute to those who perished, and provide a powerful educational experience for visitors. When visiting, guests can pay their respects to victims of the Genocide by laying a rose on the mass graves where more than 250,000 people are buried. The memorial is run by the Aegis Trust on behalf of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide.
The memorial is also home to the Genocide Archive of Rwanda. The archive is the world’s largest collection of documents, artefacts and testimonies related to the Genocide against the Tutsi. It is a collaborative project of the Kigali Genocide Memorial, Aegis Trust, and Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight against Genocide.
Visit www.kgm.rw to find out more about the Kigali Genocide Memorial and www.genocidearchiverwanda.org.rw to access the Genocide Archive of Rwanda digital records.

Kwibuka22 to focus on fighting Genocide Ideology

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.