17TH GENOCIDE COMMEMORATION IN RWANDA
The ‘land of a thousand hills’ will shortly remember the 1994 genocide, inflicted by murderous gangs of hardline militias and individuals on members of the Tutsi tribe and moderate Hutus seeking peaceful co-existence between the tribes.
The genocide triggered the eventual fall of the hardline government and saw the militias flee to neighbouring Congo, where up to date they continue to pose a serious threat to peace, stability and reconciliation in the region.
A series of events are planned across Rwanda to remember the 800.000+ people slaughtered 17 years ago, and new memorial sites have been completed in the run up to the commemoration.
Rwanda has since risen like the proverbial Phoenix from the ashes of the genocide and the policies of reconciliation and forging a new sense of nationhood went alongside a determined effort to bring those responsible for the massacres to justice. The International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda in Arusha has been prosecuting cases as was Rwanda at home, and while some accuse the government in Kigali of harsh measures, the effort to prevent historical lies from being told or a return of the radicals from neighbouring Congo must be supported, even if such measures are ‘robust’.
This correspondent joins all his many friends in Rwanda to pay tribute to those fallen heroes of 1994 and everyone else who fell victim to aggression based on tribalism since them.