The Ministry of National Unity and Civic Engagement has released guidelines to clarify the measures that will guide commemorative activities as the country gears up for the 29th commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi, which begins on Friday, April 7.
According to the Ministry, the upcoming commemoration will be held under the theme “Kwibuka twiyubaka: Remember-Unite-Renew.”
At national level, the main event of the commemoration week which starts on April 7, will be held at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, at Gisozi. At District level, there will be commemoration activities at District genocide memorial sites. At Village level, from 9a.m, there will be dialogue sessions on the Genocide against the Tutsi, followed by listening to the day’s keynote message.
There are seven prohibited activities throughout the initial commemoration week. These are:
– Mass celebrations;
– Weddings and other marriage ceremonies;
– Sport competitions (apart from individual sports);
– Playing music not related to the commemoration in bars, restaurants, barber shops, studios, and other public places such as bus stations;
– Betting games;
– Projecting football matches;
– Concerts in nightclubs, bars, comedy nights, songs, dances, movies, games, and theaters that are not related to the commemoration.
During the Commemoration week, the Ministry noted, flags will be flown at half-mast.
But professional, business, personal, and other wellness activities will continue.
Between April 8 and 12, commemorative activities involving members of the diplomatic corps and international organizations with residence in Rwanda are planned to remember and reflect on the role of the international community. There will also be dialogues involving the youth, journalists, and others.
No dialogues are scheduled in villages countrywide between April 8 and 12. The only dialogue on Kwibuka29 will take place on April 7 at 9 a.m.
Closing of the commemoration week
At national level, the official closing of the commemoration week will be held on April 13, at the Rebero Genocide Memorial with a commemorative function in memory of the politicians who were killed because of their opinions when they stood firm against the Genocide ideology.
Districts will determine where their individual official closing ceremonies of the Commemoration week will take place.
100 days of commemoration
As usual, after the initial commemoration week, commemoration events and activities will continue throughout the 100 days ending July 3.
Activities during this period include the decent burial of bodies found or being relocated to District genocide memorials.
Dialogue and commemoration activity in institutions
A dialogue on Kwibuka29 and commemoration activity in government ministries, institutions, districts, non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations, the private sector, and other organs will be held between April 8 and July 3, on a day convenient to each institution.
Commemoration in schools
Schools in the country will organize a “special commemoration day” that is convenient for them after students’ return from holidays.
Church services during commemoration period
During the commemoration period, there should be no inequality based on religion, the Ministry noted.
“Masses and worship services are not included in this event because the people participating in the commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi are not members of the same religion,” reads the statement by the Ministry.
However, it is noted, if the commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi is organized by a religion, a church, or religious institutions for the purpose of commemorating their members or their members killed in the genocide, then the organizers do so according to their religious beliefs, in accordance with the provisions of the law and other regulations.
The night vigil before a planned Memorial Day or decent burial is permitted but must be concluded by 10 p.m. “to protect the public’s health and safety.”
Walk to remember
When planning a memorial walk, a letter is sent to the security and health authorities at least five days in advance.
As noted, it is important to ensure that walks to remember do not in any way obstruct general circulation or movement by people anywhere.
Preserve stories shared at commemoration events
During the 100 days, all organizations preparing to commemorate the genocide against the Tutsi must take photos and audio recordings of the event and submit them to the Ministry of National Unity and Civic Engagement before the end of the commemoration.
Use of branding materials for Kwibuka29
A list of branding materials and guidelines can be found at kwibuka.rw.
There are marking materials that must be used. No one is allowed to violate those guidelines.
In terms of public health and environment protection, all institutions and organizations are encouraged to use billboards, screens, pull-up banners, tear drops, or branded boxes, as indicated in the designated documents, and be placed in the visitor centres or in any other location that is not hidden.
Schools and cells are encouraged to use posters to educate the people, especially the young, about the preparation and implementation of the genocide against the Tutsi and how to help a person in a trauma crisis.
These cards will be kept in public places and must be preserved properly.
All guidelines for the commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi issued in the past before the latest guidelines are annulled.