Kigali Genocide Memorial / Courtesy
It has been 26 years since the Genocide against the Tutsi was systematically executed in Rwanda. As Rwandans and friends of Rwanda observe the commemoration week under unusual circumstances, Genocide denial and its ideology are still pretty much alive.
The fight against this toxic ideology and prevention of possible future atrocities elsewhere in the world begin with proper documentation and accurate reporting. Lessons of the past enable us to uproot the seed of hate, and consequently, shape a unified and prosperous future.
In an effort to protect the true story of the Genocide and relay it from generation to generation, the Kigali Genocide Memorial partnered with Aegis Trust and the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide to create the Genocide Archive of Rwanda.
The archive has a physical repository and a web portal. The interactive online digital archive documents the causes, experiences and the aftermath of the Genocide.
The site features video testimonies of survivors and rescuers as well as confessions of perpetrators and Gacaca court proceedings. Footages of the annual remembrance activities are also included. In addition, researchers can find excerpts from hate propaganda media used to fuel the genocidal machinery.
This project has given us access to the previously inaccessible learning resources. It is a credible source of information for personal, scholarly and research purposes. Details of the historical context of the Genocide and the post-genocide reconciliation and reconstruction are available. In addition, physical materials are exhibited at the facility.
Our ’Never Again’ decree is promoted by the youth, most of whom were born after the Genocide. Some of them come from survivors’ families while others are children of the perpetrators. Having learned their disturbing history, these youngsters came together to advocate unity, peace and development. Their involvement in shaping a brighter future is key.
As we remember for the 26th time, the current global pandemic won’t allow us to gather and console each other the way we usually do. My thoughts and prayers are with those who are still struggling with the trauma.