The president’s initial and continued participation has raised the profile of the event, making it one of the main and must attend commemoration week activities by Kigali residents.
Speaking at 24th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi (Kwibuka24) event at the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Gisozi, Gasabo District on April 07, Kagame said that commemoration is about “Rwandans working together and fighting against wrong elements to avoid repeat of what happened in 1994.”Kagameadded that it is also about Rwandans developing themselves and the country.
These views by the president and Gwamaka rhyme well with the commemoration theme of the past five years – Remember, Unite, and Renew.
This is line with the country’s goal of Rwandans working together to ensure self-relianceand achieve a middle-income status in the medium-term.
For Gwamaka, the Walk to Remember reached its climax in 2014 when the country was commemorating 20 years after the genocide. Members of PLP were able to organiseWalk to Remember events in 60 cities across the globe, with over 60,000 people in total participating. Over the years, world leaders like former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Organisation of African Unity chairman Salim Ahmed Salim, former U.S. ambassador to the UN, Samantha Powers, and former South African President Thabo Mbeki, among others, have attended Walk to Remember events.
Hundreds of people today take part in a walk to remember the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Nyanza, Kicukiro. The walk starts from IPRC stadium, former ETO Kicukiro, which was the base of UN Assistance Mission for #Rwanda (UNAMIR). #Kwibuka24 pic.twitter.com/9Xt87mtHJt
— Ishimwe maria (@ishimwemaria) April 11, 2018
For 29-year-old Gwamaka,this shows that young people should be at the forefront of fighting to restore the positive values that genocidaires wanted to destroy.
“We are going to be the generation that will bridge the past and the future…Walk to Remember is now a movement that has helped remove stigma on who should commemorate the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Previously, many people thought it was only for the survivors to remember those that died in the genocide,” he explains.
He adds that the eventhas brought onboard all Rwandans, including survivors, children of genocide perpetrators, the young, old, and foreigners. Local authorities, government agencies and private companies have also embraced the idea, and always Walk to Remember their fallen colleagues during the 100-day commemoration period from April 7 to July 6.
During the vigil at the stadium, 100 names of the Genocide victims are read by the youth from PLP, including 30 for children, 40 for the youth, and 30 for adults who lost their lives during the Genocide. Messages of hope, remembrance, and unity are also shared by the youth.