The Rwandan Embassy in the United States together with Rwandans in Tennessee and Kentucky, as well as friends of Rwanda, gathered for the 28th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The event took place on Saturday last week at Knoxville, Tennessee, USA, and was preceded by the “Walk to Remember” that brought together more than 150 participant.
Bahati Kalisa, the President of the Association of Rwandans Living in the State of Tennessee in the United States, welcomed the Rwandans and friends of Rwanda who came to honor the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
“I urge Rwandans living in the Diaspora to continue to point out and denounce the perpetrators of the Genocide against the Tutsi and those who deny and underestimate the Genocide and seek protection and comfort abroad, including here,” Kalisa said. “Continue to work with the Government of Rwanda and other relevant agencies to further eradicate the culture of impunity as there are international laws and documents established by Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).”
Gatsinzi Basaninyenzi, a University Lecturer and Researcher who spoke at the event, discussed the topic and why it is so important to stand up to those who deny and belittle the Genocide against the Tutsi, as well as those who offend survivors in the United States.
Basaninyenzi cautioned Rwandans, especially the youth, to carefully examine the books they read about the subject since not all authors are telling the truth.
“What we are doing today is to tell the true story of the Genocide against the Tutsi and to avoid changing the image of the country and its history,” he said
James Ford, a friend of Rwanda and a professor at the University of Tennessee College of Applied Technology, stated that there is a big lesson to be learnt, and that as a teacher, he will be teaching the history of the Genocide against the Tutsi for never again.
Leonard Kwitonda, President of the Rwandan Community in the Midwest, spoke of the trauma that tends to happen throughout these commemorations and later, particularly for survivors of the Genocide, saying that the wounds are still fresh and that survivors should be cared for and that people should know how to help them in the event of a trauma.
IBUKA President in the USA, Jason Nshimye in his address to the audience explained that the Genocide against the Tutsi stretched from 1959 to 1994, during which time more than a million Tutsis were killed.
Nshimiye encouraged young people to visit genocide memorial centres in order to learn about the country’s history about the history and expressed his gratitude to the RPF for putting an end to the genocide and assisting survivors in reintegrating into society.
Charles Ntageruka, Second Counselor at the Embassy in the US, congratulated Rwandans in Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee, and Lexington, Kentucky, for attending the event.
Ntageruka urged the youth to use technology against those who continue to deny the Genocide.
He offered survivors a message of comfort and optimism, encouraging them to continue to hold onto the light of remembrance in order to strengthen unity and healing and develop their nation.