Rwanda, 15 years later

By Landry Ninteretse

Between April and July 1994, an estimated 800,000 people, most of them Tutsi but also Hutu moderate have been killed in Rwanda. The country distinguished itself in the annals of world history by concluding a one hundred day genocide during which militia groups worked in methodical concert with Hutu government’s forces to hack, rape, burn and otherwise brutalize to death an estimated one million people.

The analysis of the tragedy have concluded that the efficient success of the genocide was not only due to a realization of a well-orchestrated, government-supported fomentation of ethnic hatred between the Hutu majority and their minority Tutsi neighbours but also the result of an unresponsive international community.

To commemorate this tragedy 15 years later, Rwanda authorities organized the ceremony at the national level at the memorial site in Nyanza-Kicukiro, where thousands of victims who had sough refuge at the UN Peacekeeping Forces base were buried, shortly after the withdrawl of the UN Forces which left victims to be slaughtered by Interahamwe militia and government’s forces.

Symbol of the international community failure in Rwanda, Nyanza has been inaugurated as a memorial site and the headquarters of the survivor’s association Ibuka (Remember in Kinyarwanda). Fifteen years later after the perpetration of the tragedy, Rwanda is recovering despite a multi-dimensional negationism through media, books, Internet and accusations against the current government in Kigali. Rwandans should never let such ideology spread. Instead, the government should collaborate with the neighbouring countries, especially DRC to fight the remaining active extremist group operating in Eastern part of Congo and incite it to lay down weapons and join the reconciliation process which is on the way to rebuild a new generation of Rwandans.

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