Rwanda’s envoy lectures Sri Lankan university students on genocide
Rwanda’s envoy to India, Ambassador Ernest Rwamucyo on Wednesday gave a public lecture to students and officials at the Sri Lankan Defense University as a way of enlightening the world on Rwanda journey of nation building, 20 years after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
The theme “Nation-Building after Conflict: Opportunities & Challenges for Rwanda” aims at assessing Rwanda’s model for post-conflict recovery.
The lecture is part of activities to mark 20 years after the genocide. The theme for the 20th commemoration (Kwibuka20): Remember, Unite, Renew” and lessons that can be drawn from the country’s unique opportunities and challenges given our tragic history.
“Rwanda went through a turbulent history and experienced the worst horror of the modern history of human kind while the world looked on. Over one million Rwandan Tutsi, were massacred in the most brutal & unimaginable manner,” said Rwamucyo.
“The genocide against the Tutsi was the fastest, most vicious & brutal massacre in the known history of mankind.”
Rwamucyo explained how genocide was systematically planned and executed in only 100 days killing at least a million Rwandans while the world looked on, while over one million Rwandans were massacred.
“The genocide against the Tutsi was the fastest, most vicious & brutal massacre in the known history of mankind…”It is estimated that 10,000 people were massacred every day, with over 20 people killed every single minute” he said.
Killers used a cocktail of crude weapons including machetes, clubs, spears, sticks, iron rods, while trained militia used guns & grenades.
He added that by the time the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA now RDF), led by President Paul Kagame liberated the country & stopped the genocide on 4 July 1994, about 14 percent of the population had been wiped out, but also there were over 3 million refugees, internally displaced people, orphans, disabled & a traumatized population.
The envoy said that despite efforts to rebuild the country, restore security, peace and stability were huge threats have surfaced from the genocidal forces such as the FDLR militia, a terrorist group still operating in the DR Congo region.
“Expectations on Rwanda have to be weighed against the enormous historical challenges & legacy of the genocide. Today,Rwanda is a beacon of hope, peace, & stability & has become a model for successful post-conflict nation-building” he added.
Among the key achievements, Rwamucyo stated that Rwanda is politically stable, has well functioning institutions, rule of law and zero tolerance for corruption, and at least over three million refugees have been returned and reintegrated in society, as Rwanda also has involved in Peacekeeping missions with over 5000 troops.
He also said that out of Rwanda’s tragedy came a determination to build a new, modern, tolerant and peaceful country and the choice to pursue national unity & reconciliation & to focus on what unites Rwandans rather differences.
He noted that though Rwanda is rapidly transforming, sustained efforts to maintain the momentum of change remains crucial and the legacy of the genocide, the trauma of suffering & the physical & mental scars on the Rwandan remain real both for victims & perpetrators.