Commentary published in New Times - Rwanda 29 April 2013
On 25 April, hundreds of health professionals and partners in the health sector came together to commemorate our colleagues who were victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
We undertook a remembrance walk in the spirit and communion with what Rwanda has put in place for the remembrance month, during which the Nation, the sectors, communities, families come together, to reflect on what has happened and what can happen again any place in the world when bad leadership takes over a country. This was the case in Rwanda with leadership during the post independence up to June 1994, that was sectarian and imposed tribalism in a country that ironically never had tribes.
This year our driver; Abdu Ndayisaba gave a moving testimony, as a survivor, he wisely started with the story at the time of our great grand fathers and gave a very vivid portrait of the genesis of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis, followed by Rwanda’s liberation as well as the stopping of the genocide by RPF Inkotanyi, without forgetting the country’s recovery that His Excellency President Paul Kagame lead in the aftermath.
Now we are 19 years later and it is true that many of our brothers and sisters are still traumatized by what happened during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. However, with time, slowly, wounds are mitigated by the better lives Rwandans have today due to the economic growth our peace and stability that promote health and wealth of Rwandan people.
Another highlight of the commemorations was the testimony of two children whose father Abdallah was killed in the horrific events of April 1994. Their dignity and pride as they stood testifying in front of us, describing what they did with their lives since then, symbolized the expression of a unified Rwanda’s renaissance. They demonstrated that those who planned to finish the Tutsis have failed
My advice to my colleagues, the health professionals, is that we work tirelessly for the health of our brothers and sisters and carry out our work with a smile and good customer care as we contribute to take our country forward. The joy we will have as we work that way will be for 365 days the celebration of the new Rwanda where all Rwandan are equal.
Abdu’s voice broke with emotion and shock as he engaged us with his testimony and I admire him because he still remained a sensitive human being when he was talking about his fallen sisters and brothers. Every year I pay tribute to the millions of Rwandans killed during the Genocide against the Tutsi by visiting a memorial. I wish that for the next forty years, if God gives me the chance, I will have the same tears and emotions when in memorials, I will be passing through the rooms dedicated to the children fallen in the Genocide, because I feel that this is the pillar of my humanity.
But I have a message for all perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi both outside, or hidden inside our beloved country, I warn them not to misinterpret our tears and sadness dedicated to the good people they killed. We are using them as energy to spur us to work harder for a brighter and sustained future for our people and our country.