Rwanda High Commissioner to Uganda, Major-General Frank Mugambage, has asked peace lovers across the globe to join Rwanda in fighting against genocide ideology. On the 23rd anniversary of the start of the 1994 genocide, Ambassador Mugambage addressed the media in Kampala and noted that the country commemorates 1994 genocide against Tutsi annually mindful that genocide ideology must be fought.
Rwanda High Commissioner to Uganda, Major-General Frank Mugambage, has asked peace lovers across the globe to join Rwanda in fighting against genocide ideology.
On the 23rd anniversary of the start of the 1994 genocide, Ambassador Mugambage addressed the media in Kampala and noted that the country commemorates 1994 genocide against Tutsi annually mindful that genocide ideology must be fought.
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Close to one million people perished in the 1994 genocide that targeted the Tutsi and moderate Hutu. The genocide which lasted more than three months was triggered by the April 6, 1994 shooting down of the Rwandan presidential plane in which Presidents Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi perished. The plane came down as it approached Kanombe Airport as the two leaders returned from Arusha, Tanzania, for peace talks with the then rebels of the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) led by current president, Paul Kagame.
Mugambage, a member of the rebel force at the time, says it should be a concern of everyone to join campaigns against genocide ideology or the security of mankind will remain a challenge. He says what happened in Rwanda in 1994 should never happen again elsewhere.
Mugambage says genocide will never happen again in Rwanda because the current leadership has unified the country. He repeated the line that has been Rwanda's concern for two decades; that the world looked away as millions perished in Rwanda.
Last month, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, apologised for the church's role in the genocide. Not only did the church fail to control genocide, some of its members conspired with the killers. Some of the victims were killed inside churches where they had sought refuge.
The United Nations named April 7 as the day of remembrance of the Rwanda genocide against Tutsi.
In Rwanda the day marks the beginning of 100 days of activities in commemoration of the genocide. Mugambage says the commemoration is meant to pay a tribute to people who were murdered in the three months of massacre.
When asked why Rwanda isn't changing the genocide terminology from “commemorating genocide against Tutsi” to “genocide against victims,” Mugambage argued that changing the connotation would be distorting history.
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He said changing the phrasing would be generalising the genocide that targeted a certain group of people—the Tutsi. In 2014, Rwanda government launched “I am Rwanda” reconciliation campaign encouraging its citizens to identify themselves as Rwandans and as Tutsi or Hutu.
As part of the commemoration, the embassy has organised a public lecture on the 1994 genocide which will take place tomorrow at Kampala International University in Kansanga. The embassy is also organising a commemoration at Ggolo genocide site situated in Mpigi district.
Other Rwanda genocide sites in Uganda are located in Kasensero in Rakai District and Lambu in Masaka.