Rwandans and friends of Rwanda worldwide have on April 7 started observing commemoration week in memory of the over one million victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. This year marks the 26thanniversary of the tragedy.

Presiding over the ceremony to launch the week by lighting the flame and laying wreath on the graves of the victims buried to rest at Kigali Genocide Memorial, His Excellency Paul Kagame along with First Lady Jeannette Kagame described this year’s commemoration challenging for survivors and families and for the country because people can’t be together physically to comfort one another due to the current lockdown. It is not an easy thing to do.

Kagame added, “The current unusual circumstances will not prevent us fulfilling our obligation to commemorate this solemn anniversary, honour those we lost, and console survivors.”

Healing wounded hearts

Dr Joseph Nyamutera, the president of a religious organization dubbed Rabagirana Ministries, which deals with healing activities, promoting unity and reconciliation in the community, has noted that Churches should continue to heal the wounds of Genocide survivors even though the places of worship remain closed.

He made the remarks as the 26th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was launched in Rwanda and in Diaspora.

Nyamutera has urged all Faith Based Organisations to take a lead in comforting and healing genocide survivors, adding that despite the Coronavirus pandemic the church should continue to accomplish her responsibilities.

“Though the entire world is devastated by the persisting COVID-19, all commemoration activities should be observed in conformity with the current guidelines in place. As the churches are using technology to conduct their Sunday services, they should also use the similar platforms to spread messages to console genocide survivors,” he added.

He also encouraged Christians to keep their conversations with Genocide survivors very often to keep them feel that they are not alone as well as remembering those families that need a help.

He reiterated the organization’s commitment to build a peaceful, healthy and wealthy society.