The commemoration that lasts 100 days is taking place for second time during Coronavirus pandemic whereby talks will be delivered virtually through mainstream media including televisions and radios as well as other social media platforms.
Over the years, people have been reported and arrested for threatening genocide survivors, uprooting their crops, stabbing their livestock or destroying their houses among other violent acts during commemoration period.
Among others, it has been observed that propagandists, roaming perpetrators and their supporters often use this time to spread genocide ideology, deny and trivialize the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi which continue to pain survivors who endured with both physical and psychological trauma.
It is worrying situation that such propagandists intend to mislead people especially the youth considered as the backbone of the nation’s future and hold back the strides Rwanda has made in unity and reconciliation.
IGIHE has talked to Fidèle Ndayisaba, the Executive Secretary of Rwanda National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) to hint on attitudes that should characterize people during the commemoration period.
As he explained, the first move towards fighting genocide ideology is participation in commemoration events.
“The first move is to participate in commemoration events. Physical meetings have been limited by Covid-19 but we encourage people to watch, listen talks aired through mainstream media and various social media platforms. This helps to understand better history of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, comfort each other and stand in solidarity,” he said.
Ndayisaba also reminded the public that they should be selective because some media houses are used to spread propaganda, sow hatred and mislead people.
He highlighted that majority of them are YouTube channels and other media houses from abroad working under the arms of people denying and trivializing Genocide against Tutsi.
Ndayisaba further stressed that emphasis should be drawn on self-protection and protecting others during this commemoration period by avoiding to give attention to misleading speeches and publications sowing hatred. Journalists are also urged to avoid propaganda that misleads people.
Ndayisaba explained that Rwandans should stand against acts of genocide ideologists and advised them to stand united and comfort genocide survivors.
During his message marking the beginning of commemoration events, President Paul Kagame said that Rwandans should not be afraid to resist people denying genocide.
He was commenting on the presentation of the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), Dr. Jean-Damascène Bizimana that shed light on evidences of the preparation and execution of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
“What Jean-Damascène Bizimana has just told us, those are facts. Facts of our history, facts about what happened, and the responsibilities thereof. For those deniers, if they have no shame, why should I have fear?” he noted.
Rwanda is commemorating for the 27th time under the theme ‘Remember-Unite-Renew’