Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Transform your grief into strength, mourners in Toronto, Hague told


Survivors meditate by a mass grave at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre recently.
A survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, who resides in Canada, at the weekend, urged fellow survivors to work hard and live their lives to the fullest, according to a statement from the Rwandan Diaspora in Canada. 

Chantal Mudahogora, a survivor who lives in Hamilton, Ontario, was addressing mourners, including Rwandans and friends of Rwanda from across Canada and the US, at Ryerson University School of Management, in Toronto to mark the 19th commemoration of the Genocide.

“We must live, and live abundantly,” said Mudahogora, who has co-founded an NGO to help survivors back in Rwanda get back on their feet with financial assistance and self-help projects.

The event featured public debates and presentations, followed by a more traditional vigil in the evening, a statement says.

Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Canada Edda Mukabagwiza reiterated that Rwanda has proved that it is capable of lifting its people out of despair and poverty and into a brighter future.

The statement says the mourners discussed the failure of the media, the true story of the survivors at the Hôtel des Mille Collines during the 1994 Genocide, among others.

The Netherlands commemorate  

In the same spirit, Rwandans and friends in The Netherlands met in The Hague to pay tribute to the Genocide victims.

“As we remember, honour our people and bow in prayer for them – as we remember the pain, grief, and senseless brutality they endured, with the same stoic spirit, we stand strong and confidently declare that this will never happen again,” said Guillaume Kavaruganda, the Chargé d’Affaires at the Rwandan embassy in The Hague. 

“We resolve to transform our grief into strength and renewed determination to strive for self-reliance and build a better future that Rwanda deserves. A future that is fast becoming a reality, a country in which all Rwandans live together in dignity and mutual respect,” he said.

The Rwandan Embassy invited the Dutch government officials, diplomats accredited to the Kingdom of The Netherlands, members of academia, Rwandan Diaspora and ordinary Dutch citizens to together honour the victims of the Genocide. 

The Chargé d’Affaires said the fight against impunity must continue unabated as the duty of justice requires concerted efforts from world governments. 

Rebuilding story

He said many Genocide perpetrators live freely in Europe yet “it shouldn’t be the case” as all Genocide suspects must be tried and justice must be done.

Kavaruganda told the mourners that Rwanda’s to dramatically transformg from a country turmoil and hopelessness, 19 years ago, into one that enjoys respect in the community of nations, offers hope for a prosperous future. 

“All Rwandans today have a renewed sense of pride and dignity in being Rwandan.” 

Apart from another commemoration event yesterday in the city of Maastricht, there will be one at the International Institute for Social Studies in The Hague on Friday, another one in Gorinchem town on Sunday, and another in Wageningen city at the end of the month.


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