Rwandan community living in Malawi for the first time since the occurrence of the genocide that wiped out over a million Tutsis in 1994, commemorated the international day of reflection at the Bingu International Convention Center in Lilongwe recently.
The commemoration, dubbed Kwibuka25 a Kinyarwanda phrase which translates to the 25th remembrance of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi’s reminds the world of how bad governance and ethnic violence can cause mayhem in any country.
The mood in the hall was sombre as speakers, Rwandas High Commissioner to Malawi but resident in Zambia, Monique Mukaruliza and Malawian Minister of Home Affairs Nicholas Dausi, reminded the gathering how the Tutsi’s were wiped out by Hutus casting a shadow of doubt that the country will never recover.
According to Dausi, Rwanda is a very good example of a country which has astounded many due to the resilience of its people.
He said: “We take pride that today the story of Rwanda is that of hope. We have all witnessed the unbreakable spirit of the Rwanda people, their yearning for peace and their commitment to rebuilding their country. Rwandans have shown the world that reconciliation is possible, even after a tragedy of such monumental proportions.”
Dausi said many countries and individuals have witnessed and praised Rwanda;s astonishing development as its economic growth has averaged over 6 per cent per year in the last decade.
“Rwandas economy is one the fastest growing in the world. In addition, poverty and inequality have declined , child and martenal mortality have improved and primary education is now universal and free. Rwanda has shown, in defiance of all expectations, that an African state can deliver security, public services and rise in prosperity,” said Dausi.
In her speech ,Mukaruliza commended the government of Malawi for extraditing to Rwanda genocide convict Vincent Murekezi a thing which he claimed that show that Malawi is a good ally.
This followed signing of an Extradition Treaty as well as a MoU on exchange of prisoners.
The High Commissioner advised that as the day is being commemorated, there is need to continue standing side by side with the genocide survivors most of whom are still struggling to come to terms with the painful consequences of this dreadful past.
“As we remember, it is imperative that Genocide related impunity is earnestly fought to its ultimate defeat. It is bad governance and related impunity that acted both as an enabler and a catalyst for the 1994 genocide against Tutsi. It is same impunity that is currently nourishing the last phase of genocide, which is revisionism and denialist propaganda. Indeed as we share Rwanda’s tragic history, the extent of risk of bad governance to the human race is a huge lesson to all of us and especially our future leaders, the youths,” she added.
The envoy said Government of Rwanda understands that at a certain time, immediately after the genocide against the Tutsi, there was a reason for Rwandans to be refugees in the neighbouring countries or a bit far. But for now, Rwanda is safe.
She said the position of Rwanda is that the nationals for Rwanda living abroad should have to choose either to come back to Rwanda—that is voluntary repatriation—or to stay in the host countries, but comply with the laws of the host countries.
“The position of Rwanda is not a forced repatriation. It’s for Rwandans to choose between coming back to the country [Rwanda] because the country is developing well. And everybody has his place and value in the country. Or choose to stay in the host country if the laws allow that,” she said.
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