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#Kwibuka29: What can we do?


Mwizerwa Eric was a child in 1994 when he had just finished primary school. He witnessed the atrocities of the Genocide against the Tutsi with his own eyes, as his mother was killed before his own eyes and he saw his neighbors kill his father with a machete.

He tried to escape, but many of his family members did not survive. After the genocide ended, he continued his studies and earned his degree from Higher Learning Institution.

His youth was scarred, he was followed by this history everywhere he went even outside Rwanda. But as days went on this image of a traumatic and unforgettable past.

Now, he is a healed young entrepreneur who is striving to heal, promote peace and contribute to unity and a resilient future.

The genocide against the Tutsi claimed 1,074,017 lives in 100 days. There were young people among the victims and the perpetrators.

Today, Rwandan youth constitutes about 65.3% of the total population, which means that many of us have a responsibility to ensure that a tragedy like that one never happens again.

Mwizerwa gives good advice, urging young people to always strive for peace so that it does not slip through their fingers. This peace that many have fought and longed for.

He says, “This peace we have, this prosperity […] is not like the Manna that came from Heaven, like the people of Israel, nor is it something that foreigners will come to help us achieve.”

The Kwibuka period reminds us that we must strive for peace and security. To achieve this, we must avoid anything that could lead to a repeat of what we have experienced.

Mwizerwa adds, “I ask you to help us fight against Genocide ideology, it should never be a recurring event.”

President Kagame was one of the victims of such ideology. While still young he faced exile, was forced to become a refugee, and lived a life without a place he could really call home. During the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, he was at the forefront of a not-so-easy battle for peace.

As we remember for the 29th time, President Kagame mentioned we should ask ourselves what “Kwibuka” means. He said it should symbolize a deeper understanding of our history.

“We encourage Rwandans to learn history so that it [the country] can progress better, knowing the truth and that it must be recognized. That’s what Kwibuka means to us,” adds President Kagame.

Mwixerwa says the role of young people is not complicated.

He said that young people could use platforms such as social media to help prevent Genocide ideology and fight against genocide denial.

He said it is also the youth’s role to stay informed through books that detail the history and other books written by victims, such as “Left to Tell” by Immaculée Ilibagiza, “Moi, le dernier Tutsi” by Habonimana Charles, “Ma mère ma tué” by Albert Nsengimana, “Not My Time To Die” by Yolande Mukagasana, or “That Child is Me” by Irakoze Claver.

These books can help is by providing a clear understanding of the events that took place and the circumstances surrounding them. Through these books, people can learn about the root causes of the atrocities, the key players involved, and the impact of the events on the affected communities.

It can help foster empathy and compassion. It is easy to read about events and remain detached from them, but when one reads a personal account of a victim, it is much more difficult to remain unaffected.

Such accounts bring to light the raw emotions of those involved and can help others understand what it was like to be in their shoes. This, in turn, can help build empathy and compassion for others, leading to a more tolerant and understanding society.

By understanding the conditions and factors that led to these atrocities, people can be better equipped to identify warning signs and take appropriate action to prevent similar events from occurring in the future.

Finally, the experiences of victims can help promote healing and reconciliation. Many of the victims of these atrocities have suffered unimaginable trauma and loss. Through their personal accounts, readers can gain a better understanding of the emotional toll these events took on them. This understanding can help promote healing and reconciliation between different groups, as well as between individuals affected by the events.

Getting informed can help society in various ways. It can play a significant role in shaping a more understanding, tolerant, and peaceful society in times to come.

Straight out of Twitter