Friday, March 8, 2013

GISOZI: VICTOIRE INGABIRE UMUHOZA’S SPEECH


January 16, 2010

I would like to say that today I came back to my country 16 years after that tragedy took place in this country. I know very well that there was genocide and crimes against humanity. Therefore, with my return after 16 years in a country where such actions took place in my absence, I could not have fallen asleep without first passing by the place where those actions took place. I had to see the place. I had to visit the place.

The flowers I brought with me are a sign of remembrance from the members of FDU-INKINGI and its Executive Committee. They told me to pass by here and tell you, the Rwandan people, that what we wish for is to work together, to make sure that such a tragedy will never take place again. That is one of the reasons why the party FDU-INKINGI decided to return to the country peacefully, without resorting to violence as many people think that the solution to Rwanda’s problems is to resort to armed struggle. We do not believe that shedding blood resolves problems. When one sheds blood, the blood comes back to haunt him/her.

Therefore, within FDU-INKINGI, we wish that all of us, the Rwandan people, can work together, join our different ideas, so that the tragedy that befell our nation will never happen again. It is clear that the path to reconciliation has a long way to go. It has a long way to go because if you look at the number of people who were killed in this country, it is not something that one can get over quickly. But still, if one looks around, he/she realizes that there is no strong political policy designed to help the Rwandan people achieve genuine reconciliation. For example, if we look at this memorial, it only refers to the people who died during the genocide against the Tutsis. There is another untold story with regard to the crimes against humanity committed against the Hutus. The Hutus who lost their loved ones are also suffering; they think about the loved ones who perished and are wondering ‘When will our dead ones also be remembered?’

For us to reach reconciliation, we need to empathize with everyone’s suffering. It is necessary that for the Tutsis who were killed, those Hutus who killed them understand that they have to be punished for it. It is also necessary that for the Hutus who were killed, those people who killed them understand that they have to be punished for it too. Furthermore, it is important that all of us, the Rwandan people, from our different ethnic groups, understand that we need to unite, respect each other, and build together our country in peace.

Therefore, the reason we came back to the country is to start together that path of reconciliation and find a way to stop injustice so that all of us, the Rwandan people, may live together with freedoms in our country.

Thank you.

Note:

This transcript is also available in KINYARWANDA and FRENCH.

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