The Chairperson of the Rwanda Diaspora Global Network (RDGN), Eng. Daniel Murenzi, on Sunday, stressed that unlike in the past, today Rwandans who live in diaspora are striving to build a better and united nation.
Murenzi was addressing an audience at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania where, after a Walk to Remember, people gathered to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The commemoration event like the one held in Arusha, he said, was a time to try to understand how the unthinkable happened “by confronting our past.”
He said: “We are here to face history. We are here today to remember that these are terrible and painful historic facts, terrible lessons learnt from our past from which we have to draw lessons for us all to build a better the future free of Genocides.”
Ideology of hate taught for a long time
Before 1994, Murenzi said, the Rwandan diaspora aboard were being taught to fuel genocide ideology abroad and trying to divide the communities into two parts supported by the genocidal government of President Habyarimana.
“The government used supremacy of ideology of hate. The ideology of hate was taught for a long time with an intention of isolating Tutsi people from the rest of Rwanda Community,” he said.
“People were taught that a Tutsi is their enemy and they should fight him and kill him or her if necessary.”
After 1994, he explained, the Rwandan community abroad embarked on a journey of nation rebuilding and promotion of peace and reconciliation with support from the government.
“The Diaspora of today has the biggest role of uniting Rwandans aboard and focus on nation building,” he said, adding that their current achievements are visible in Rwanda.
The RDGN has for the past few years been engaged in various national development projects. They have supported the government in social and economic development initiatives including building homes for genocide survivors.
The RDGN boss also used the occasion to appeal for countries to help bring Genocide perpetrators who are still at large to book.
It is well known that genocide perpetrators are still freely roaming aboard and some are protected by host countries, he said.
“We do request that these perpetrators should face justice.”
The Rwandan community abroad has focused this year’s commemoration on educating the youth about the history of the Genocide and seeking their engagement to build a brighter future based on love and humanity instead of hatred and destruction.
“We are here also to reject Genocide ideology, Genocide denial and revisionism. We are here to remind that justice for the victims is needed today than ever,” he said.
“This is a moment to share Rwanda’s tragic history and learn from it.
The 1994 genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda left the nation trembling where the nation had to start from zero in rebuilding its self. There are good policies introduced in our country in order to reunite and build the nation.”
He, as an example, pointed to the Gacaca courts (local system of the community justice inspired by Rwandan tradition) which said made an impact.
More than 1,958,634 Gacaca hearings were conducted successfully with limited costs, he said.
Ndi Umunyarwanda, Murenzi said, was re-installed, explaining that “this is where now Rwandans are taught to be one Rwandan than seeing themselves in tribal or ethnic groups.”
“This is across in our country and in Diaspora across the world.”