As of yesterday, the Rwanda National Police has called on the public to unite and fight against any support of the denial of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The message was delivered yesterday ahead of the 21st commemoration of the Genocide starting tomorrow. This is known as ‘Kwibuka’, meaning remember, focusing on commemoration of the ones that perished and honoring them by fighting against Genocide denial. Rwandans and allies across the globe will pay tribute and honor the one million lives massacred in just one hundred days 21 years ago. The Commissioner for Operations Emmanuel Butera spoke to local radio stations stating, “Rwandans have chosen to say 'never again' to these acts and we should endeavor to stop those who still harbor ill intentions.” He noted that it was critical that Rwandans should not wait for Police act, and rather, cooperate in ending this denial by reporting suspects and providing information to the forces. Theos Badege, the commissioner of CID, said these crimes involve threats, violence, and insults against Genocide survivors. He stated, “"Community policing has been key to overcoming several crimes; we should continue to work together especially during this period. This is a period of mourning and remembrance, which reminds us of the terrible cost of bad leadership, disunity and segregation." This period of 100 days of ‘Kwibuka’ is an opportunity to gain a better historical understanding, commemorate those that perished, and honor those that survived. Through uniting and understanding the importance of diminishing genocide denial, Rwanda is one step close to becoming more of a progressive, developmental, and peaceful country.
Much like what was discussed in my last Blog, the resolution passed in Greek Cyprus to make it a crime to deny that the Ottoman Turks committed genocide and crimes against humanity or war crimes against Armenian Turks Although, this article is a progressive view on genocide denial. As I said before, I find it significant and vital that all history with factual evidence is recognized, but wonder if it will cause uprising due to the lack of freedom of expression. However, I do think that when it comes to such serious issues, complex politics, especially concerning so many deaths, and international relations, parliament should be allowed and has the right to produce such a solution. Although I am a strong supporter of freedom of expression, I think that once there is ample evidence that make stories, facts and facts, history, there comes a point where denial is not acceptable.
April 6, 2015