The Rwanda High Commissioner to Kenya James Kimonyo has shared Rwanda’s experience of rebuilding the foundations of peace noting that the country has made commendable progress following the 1994 genocide against Tutsi as a result of good leadership.
He was speaking during the international Conference on Peace, Security and Social Enterprise held at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi on Wednesday.
“Before colonization in Africa, Rwandese were speaking one language and living in harmony. The arrival of colonialists saw divisions where ethnicity was determined by one’s physical features, Tutsis and Hutus. After 1962, politics of identity became hate and in 1994 before genocide, our society was deeply divided fuelled by hate media, false reporting and killing each other”, he said.
“Rwanda has made considerable progress on the road to reconciliation and is focusing on economic development. In the last decades, Rwandans have come a long way on the arduous road toreconciliation. The government, to ensure total reconciliation, had to; eliminate reference to ethnicity in identification documents, the legal process of investigating genocide and restoring justice was executed by traditional courts called ‘gacaca’ to speed up justice, re-introduction of community work in an effort to re-build the country and above all promoting economic growth”, he added.
Mount Kenya University Rwanda founder Prof. Simon Gicharu who also attended the conference urged leaders and the public to think about preventive measures against all forms of disunity. “Higher learning is not about profit making, but instilling positive change among young people who are our future leaders to be dynamic and positively influence others. The world spends billions of dollars on conflicts instead of key sectors like education which is one of the pillars of development making the world a better place”. He said.
The Rwanda High Commissioner to Kenya James Kimonyo , Mount Kenya University Rwanda Chairman and Founder Prof. Simon Gicharu, Kenya cabinet secretary, Joseph Ole Nkaisery, the Chairman National Cohesion and Integration Commission, Mr. Francis Ole Kaparo with members of staff from Mount Kenya University and other Kenya government dignitaries and Rwandan students studying in Kenya, Thika main campus were among the participants in the international Conference on Peace.