Students and staff of University of Kigali paid tribute to victims of 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in a commemoration event held Kigali Genocide Memorial, of June 8.
The event was preceded with a walk to remember to the memorial site. Led by the University’s Vice Chancellor Prof. David Wang’ombe alongside with other guests, including City of Kigali vice mayor in charge of Urbanisation and Infrastructure, Merard Mpabwanamaguru and accompanied by the students, showcased the commitment to preserving history and fostering a deeper understanding of the nation’s tragic past.
The Vice Chancellor, overwhelmed by sorrow, highlighted the university’s commitment to remember saying that commemoration creates an opportunity to unite and be part of education progress.
“I see a strong sense of unity amongst our students and staff with diverse backgrounds, identifying themselves as Rwandans and people who have come together to work for a common brighter future.”
“The University provides scholarships for the Genocide victims many of whom could not access higher education, in the end, they are able to participates in economic activities and build their future,” said Wang’ombe.
Mpabwanamaguru who was also deeply moved by the experience at the memorial site, commended the University of Kigali for taking the initiative to educate its students about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and it’s never ending effects.
As the group gathered for a moment of reflection, Mpabwanamaguru told them to learn from history and foster an environment of empathy and understanding amongst themselves so the future generation will be free from hatred and violence.
Walking through the exhibition, the group observed the chronology of events leading up to the genocide, delving into social-political factors that fueled the violence.
Students were particularly engaged, as they were able to witness firsthand the consequences of hatred, intolerance and ethnic divisions, serving as a stark reminder of the importance of promoting peace, unity and reconciliation.
The delegation also laid wreaths at the mass grave at the memorial were over 250,000 Genocide victims are buried.
Among the students in attendance was Laure Nikita Rutagungira, who expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to visit the memorial site, as it was her first time.
“Your past always affects your present and future as well, I have learned a lot as a present of my country and I will teach this to my young brothers and sisters through conversations,” she proclaimed.
David Dang who, as a foreigner student from South Sudan, said “the opportunity has given me a self-exercise to make it known to my fellow new students and other colleagues who missed the events.”
University of Kigali’s visit at the Kigali Genocide Memorial served as the powerful reminder that while the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi remains a painful chapter in the nation’s history, it also serves as a reminder for the society to always stay united.
Mourners hold candles while observing a moment of silence to pay tribute to victims of the Genocide Against the Tutsi during a Commemoration event at Kigali Genocide Memorial
Students and staff of University of Kigali during a tour of Kigali Genocide Memorial on Thurday, June 8. All photos by Craish Bahizi
University of Kigali Students and staff during a walk to remember victims of the Genocide Against the Tutsi
City of Kigali vice mayor in charge of Urbanisation and Infrastructure, Merard Mpabwanamaguru addresses mourners at Kigali Genocide Memorial.
The University of Kigali students and staff observe a moment of silence to pay tribute to victims.