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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 04/09/2024 - 12:59

Three decades have passed since the dark days of 1994, a time that forever changed Rwanda and echoed around the globe. Today, with these words, we weave a tribute to the lost souls and shattered spirits, to the wounded bodies and bleeding hearts. This homage is made without rank or distinction, honoring each victim uniquely, whether they are known or anonymous, remembered or forgotten. We do this in the hope that memory and justice will walk hand in hand, lighting the path towards peace and reconciliation.

The Prelude to Chaos: Political Assassinations Before 1994:

The road to the tragic year of 1994 was paved with pain and loss, marked by a series of political assassinations that sowed the seeds of discord and mistrust. These acts shook the foundations of Rwanda, leaving behind grieving families, torn communities, and a nation on the brink. The assassination of President Habyarimana in April 1994 was the culmination of this dark series, a point of no return that plunged the country into a spiral of violence. Today, the voices of those early victims still echo, calling for peace, justice, and truth in a world that sometimes seems to prefer forgetfulness to facing reality.

The Hidden War: War Crimes

The northern provinces, Byumba, Ruhengeri, and beyond, bore silent witness to a war that spared no man, woman, or child. On a grim day, October 1st, the APR ignited the region with its war flame, throwing populations into the abyss of fear and danger. The people of Bigogwe, the displaced of Nyacyonga, endured the unspeakable, caught in the storm of a conflict they did not choose. For four years, these populations were caught in the crossfire of a war they hadn’t sought. These years of conflict left indelible scars on the land and in the hearts of those who survived, inscribing tales of fear, loss, and despair that deserve to be heard and honored in the ceaseless quest for justice.

The Eclipse of Humanity: The Genocide Against the Tutsis

In April 1994, the world witnessed one of humanity's darkest chapters, a genocide that systematically targeted Tutsis, marking them as objects of blind hatred. Through the veils of time, we discern a somber truth: these innocent souls, these Tutsi victims, have been and continue to be used as stepping stones by those seeking power, turned into tools for consolidating reigns, rather than beings to be honored with dignity. The tales of survival, courage, and pain from the survivors must be told and acknowledged, not to fuel bitterness, but to forge a common understanding of peace's fragility and the value of every human life. The memory of these dark days, pure and unmanipulated, must be preserved as a catalyst for empathy, solidarity, and reconciliation, not as a lever in power games.

The Forgotten Voices: The Genocide Against the Hutus

Within our complex past, the suffering of Hutus emerges not as a ghostly whisper but as a poignant cry of truth. The Hutu genocide, with episodes like Kibeho, Nyakinama, and the tragedies in Congo camps, reveals the extent and depth of inflicted pain. These moments of brutality, far from isolated anecdotes, are links in a chain of atrocities that testify to the severity of what unfolded in Rwanda and against Rwandans. Recognizing these stories is not to diminish other sufferings but to add to our collective memory mosaic. Survivors and descendants of Hutu victims have an inalienable right to share their stories, to demand the light of truth in the darkness of forgetfulness. In this context, solidarity among all genocide victims stands as a bulwark against denialism. Acknowledging the reality of the Hutu genocide is an essential step towards justice and reconciliation, a step towards a future where every voice matters, where every tear weighs, and where every wounded heart finds a path to healing.

Beyond Borders: The Congolese Victims

The contagion of hate and violence did not respect national borders, also affecting our Congolese neighbors. Their suffering speaks to our destinies' interconnectedness and the destructive impact of ambitions and schemes that sought to exploit and destabilize the region for fleeting gains. The tears shed on Congolese soil call for regional solidarity and a shared commitment to justice and peace.

The Commitment of Jambo ASBL and the Mpore Memory and Justice Project

Faced with this tapestry of pain and memory, Jambo ASBL and the Mpore Memory and Justice Project stand as beacons of hope and resilience, with an unwavering commitment centered on the victim. Our primary mission is to place the victim at the heart of our actions, offering a sanctuary where their memory is preserved, their truth-bearing voice is heard, and their call for justice is amplified. We pledge to embrace all victims without exception, to acknowledge every individual story, to heal visible and invisible wounds. Our goal is to transcend divides, to transform walls of division into bridges of understanding and compassion. By placing the victim at the center of our commitment, we reaffirm our determination to weave a future where justice and memory form the foundation of peace and reconciliation.

A call to memory, justice, and humanity

On this thirtieth anniversary, we are called to deep introspection, reminded that Rwanda endured immeasurable suffering in 1994. Yet, it is crucial to recognize that our nation's pain roots deep before that dark year, starting in 1990 and alarmingly continuing to permeate our present for unresolved reasons.

We must be clear-eyed: the elements leading to past tragedies are still present, palpable in our society's fabric. Victims remain forgotten, unacknowledged, refugees still denied their right to return, and many citizens voiceless. Hate, stubbornly, continues to haunt our interactions, threatening to reignite the flames of a past we hoped was behind us.

This call to memory, justice, and humanity is not only commemorative but also preventative. It is a cry for the lessons of the past not to be in vain, but to illuminate our path towards a future where every human being's dignity is an unshakeable reality, where peace transcends aspiration to become our everyday reality, and where justice forms the bedrock of our community, our nation, and our world.

Let this call resonate, not as an echo of the past but as an active commitment for today and tomorrow, inspiring concrete actions and changes. It is our collective duty to ensure that future generations inherit not only the stories of our history but also a solid legacy of reconciliation, respect, and universal love, so that never again will we endure what we have suffered.




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