“THEY SHOULD NOT CONFUSE RWANDANS”
As we are coming to the end of the 100 days of the 26th Commemoration of Genocide against Tutsi, it’s clearly necessary to continue fighting the genocide ideology and related crimes more specifically the denial and minimization of Genocide against Tutsi. The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission is encouraging every one more especially Rwandans wherever they could be either in Rwanda or abroad to pursue this endeavor.
As Rwandans and friends of Rwanda joined up in the 26th Commemoration of Genocide against Tutsi, some Rwandans and foreigners have been heard distorting the facts about genocide that devastated Rwanda for the purpose of misleading the public by affirmation that there was double genocide in Rwanda. This is a deliberate denial of genocide against Tutsi.
Those arguing on the Hutu died because they fought against Genocide against Tutsi and others unexplained:
1) This tendency is geared towards minimization of the Genocide against Tutsi;
They affirm that there was double genocide in Rwanda;
This incites divisions among Rwandans.
As example: The Germans died while fighting against the massacre of Jews and protecting them during Holocaust but this did not change its framing.
The Hutu and other people that died, were killed because they refused to deny the fact that there all Rwandans but they were not targeted for who they were.
1. CLARFICATION MADE BY RWANDANS
Rwandans explained it well when they introduced the word genocide in Kinyarwanda which comes from foreign languages, where in the Rwandan Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda of 2003 revised in 2015, they voted and decisively adopted that the brutal killing of Tutsi in Rwanda was Genocide against Tutsi.
In the preamble of this constitution, Rwandans state that “CONSCIOUS of the genocide committed against Tutsi that decimated more than a million sons and daughters of Rwanda, and conscious of the tragic history of our country”
Those that deny Genocide against Tutsi hiding behind what they call
“COMMEMORATING ALL (KWIBUKA BOSE)”, this is misleading the public and against what Rwandans adopted.
II. THOSE WHO THINK THAT NAME OF “GENOCIDE AGAINST TUTSI” CAN
BRING BACK WHAT WAS TERMED AS ETHNICITY THAT WOUNDED
RWANDANS IN THEIR HISTORY
It’s true that Rwanda is a home to Rwandans born from different clans and lineage, sharing the same country and its land that they are all settled on, the same language Kinyarwanda, same Rwandan culture, majority of them believing in God and all these enabling them to share one identity of being Rwandans.
In the Rwandan bad history way back in colonial time, it’s well known that Rwandans were divided by colonialist by forming Hutu, Tutsi and Twa to be ethnic groups yet these were socio-economic classes.
This ethnicity ideology was diffused among Rwandans and for many years was used as a political tool in the divisive governance of the country. This was used to inculcate hatred among Rwandans and in disseminating the genocide ideology that culminated in the tragic Genocide against Tutsi.
Being that in the Rwandans history during its governance, Hutu, Tutsi and Twa was used in the society and given that during genocide those that identified as Tutsi were the only ones targeted, it’s a historical fact of what happened in that particular time.
Using the terminology that was used and in historical context does not go against the rebuilding of the Rwandan Identity ( Ndi Umunyarwanda).
This should not therefore be an obstacle in trying to explain the truth of the bitter history that Rwandans went through.
This again should not be mistaken to be in conflict with one of the main principle of building unity and reconciliation which is to promote the spirit of Rwandan identity and put national interests first instead of favors based on ethnicity, blood relations, religions, region of origin, etc.
III. CLARIFICATION MADE BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
Although in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948, the United Nations had committed that no genocide will ever happen again, during the Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda, Rwandans were abandoned.
During Genocide against Tutsi, Rwandans that were categorized as Tutsi were harassed, hunted, forced in exile, killed, those in hiding were discovered, their property was looted and destroyed.
It took the courage and dedication always honored, shown by Inkotanyi who stopped the Genocide against Tutsi and liberated Rwanda, fought against revenge for restoration of Rwandans, enabling them to peacefully co-exist as they started the journey of reconciliation and building their unity.
Other Rwandans that are honored for their heroic acts are Abarinzi b’Igihango.
These are people who felt bound by the unity of Rwandans, amongst whom were those identified as Hutu during the Genocide against Tutsi but fought against the ideology of wiping out their brothers and sisters identified as Tutsi. Some died during this cause of protecting those who were targeted.
Progress was made by the International Community, when they recognized that targeted mass killings of the Tutsi in Rwanda was a Genocide and this was confirmed by resolution 955 of 8/11/1994 of the UN Security Council when they were establishing the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda( ICTR). This should help the whole world to understand the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
This is further confirmed by the trial case of ICTR of 16/6/2006, which concluded that the Genocide that took place in Rwanda in 1994 was a Genocide against the Tutsi and this must be understood by everyone as a fact of common knowledge. This could also help whoever want to get the truth without doubt.
The stand taken by United Nations in 2018 and reaffirmed by its General Assembly resolution No. 74/273 of April 2020 further removes doubt from the International Community by declaring that 07th April of every year will be an International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
Also, in the above resolution, the UN calls upon the International Community to fight Denial of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
IV. THE NATIONAL UNITY AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION WISH TO PROCLAIM THE FOLLOWING
1)Much as the 26th Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi coincided with an unusual period when people could not meet or gather, to avoid the spread Covid-19 pandemic, Rwandans and friends of Rwanda managed to interact through different media platforms and information technologies tools that helped to remember with the aim of restoring the dignity of victims through acknowledgement and commemoration of their suffering as well as the prevention of future acts of genocide.
2) Government Institutions specifically the National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG), Rwanda Embassies abroad, civil society organizations especially those under the umbrella of IBUKA, and different individuals did a wonderful job that enabled many people to commemorate.
3) Rwandans participated in activities that promoted unity and reconciliation, during the commemoration period, especially those that gave moral and material support to the Survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi in need.
4) Rwandans have continued to show that they cannot tolerate some few individuals who commit crimes of genocide ideology and related offenses like denial and minimization of the Genocide against the Tutsi. There is confidence that competent institutions will deal appropriately with hose found guilty of these crimes bringing them to justice.
5) Any person, be it a leader or an organization that uses other framing to define the Genocide against Tutsi is uundermining the dignity of Rwandans.
Whoever does this, supports those that deny and minimize the Genocide against the Tutsi, and this must be fought.
These practices are common among:
- People who deserted, disappointed and failed Rwandans during the Genocide against Tutsi:
- People with intent inclined to destabilize Rwandans peace and stability in their journey to heal the wounds inflicted upon it by its bitter historical past and its effort to rebuild and develop in sustainable peace.
6) The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission call upon Rwandans not to be diverted by those who wish to distract them in their healing process and to take them steps backward.
7) The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, wish to remind the public to avoid and never conceal the genocide ideology and related offenses which are serious crimes that carry along with heavy punishments as per the law no. 59/2018 of 22/8/2018 on the crime of genocide ideology and related crimes.
8) The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, urges Rwandans uphold firmly their choice of preserving unity and reconciliation, fighting against any kind of divisions, genocide ideology and other related crimes.
9) The process of healing and trust building among Rwandans premised on bottom of the heart remorsefulness, truth telling, repentance and forgiveness and building trust for the bright future is paramount in the unity and reconciliation journey and hence participation and support of this process should be encouraged.
10) The resilience and determination of Rwandans to unity and reconciliation is the strength that will help to prevail against any one that would wish to distract them from the right path of peace and development they chose.
Done in Kigali on 02/07/2020
Bishop John RUCYAHANA
Chairperson of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission