International Conference on Kwibuka25 begins in Kigali: Day one

Kigali, 04 April 2019 – The International Conference on the 25th Commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi begun today at Intare Conference Arena in Kigali under the theme “Preserving Memory, Championing Humanity”.

The two-day conference attracts over 500 participants including scholars and policymakers from all over the world to discuss theory and practice in the areas of reconstruction, resilience, dealing with trauma as well as identity politics. First Lady Mrs. Jeannette Kagame attended the conference alongside HE Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente and other distinguished delegates.

In his welcome remarks, Dr. Jean Damascene Bizimana, Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight Against  Genocide, reminded that “Genocide is not an ordinary crime that intellectuals can dare to ignore”.

He further noted that “In 1994, despite the International Community’s pledge that the Genocide would never happen again, and with all the legal instruments in place, the extremist regime in Rwanda was able to prepare and implement the Genocide Against the Tutsi”.

In his opening Keynote address, HE Olusegun Obasanjo hailed Rwanda’s social, economic progress after the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi.

“In Rwanda, you have no Hutu, Tutsi anymore. You are all Rwandans. We all salute Rwanda’s progress. Rwanda has achieved a lot, including Imihigo, Gacaca, but most importantly, living together after the Genocide” HE Obasanjo said.

The first day saw two panel discussions – on “Perspectives of a Post-Genocide Generation” and on “Genocide and Collapse of Society”.

The first panel discussed the realities of a generational shift in society that has experienced a genocide.

Watch the full video of the morning session here:

The afternoon session saw one panel discussion which focused on the role of the state, church, and media in the propagation of genocide ideology and the disintegration of the social fabric of Rwanda and how it led to the Genocide.

Watch the video of the afternoon session here:

Café Littéraire on Kwibuka25

The day one of the International Conference was concluded with a Café Littéraire at the Kigali Cultural and Exhibition Village (KCEV) on Kwibuka25 which featured three authors – Virginie Brinker (France) Koulsy Lamko (Chad) and Jean-Marie Vianney Rurangwa (Rwanda). The there authors elaborated more on their shared motivation to write about the Genocide Against the Tutsi, which is: Contributing to the preservation and transmission of memory.

View full program of the international conference here:

View more photos of Day one here:

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