East Africa

Rwanda will host an annual pilgrimage for genocide survivors.

The Rwandan High Commission in Uganda has announced that the country’s yearly 1994 genocide commemorations will be upgraded to annual pilgrimages for survivors.

Mr Joseph Rutabana, Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Uganda, said they hope to invite many survivors to view the mass graves at the 28th Rwanda genocide memorial at Ggolo Landing Site in Mpigi District this weekend.

“This day means a lot because what happened was not a natural thing for human beings to hunt down and exterminate people who had been neighbors for many years,” he said.

Mr Rutabana went on to say that the mass graves serve as a constant reminder of humanity and a source of comfort for the surviving.

100 days of darkness

Armed militias massacred over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in an onslaught that lasted from April 7 to July 14, 1994.

Diplomats from Tanzania, South Sudan, Japan, Ethiopia, Algeria, Kenya, Cuba, Germany, Turkey, Lesotho, France, Ireland, and Germany, as well as international organizations including the International Red Cross and the Food and Agriculture Organization, attended the commemoration.

Mr. Jean de Dieu Uwamungu, 37, described how eight of his family members were slain while he was in charge, and how he was rescued from a shallow grave by a dog.

Mr Julius Kivuna, the head of regional peace and security at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who represented government, informed the guests that the UN has mandated that everyone look out for hate speech in the aftermath of the massacre.

Mr Kivuna defined hate speech as “any kind of communication in speech, writing, or media that employs derogatory or discriminating terminology with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are, their religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, color, decent, gender, or other forms.”

“Reading about those who want to deny genocide is distressing since burial sites exist and hate speech messages of hatred against Tutsis were disseminated.”

 

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