Rwanda genocide memorial sites offer lessons for us – says NCOP Chairperson
The Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Mr Amos Masondo, has called on nations to learn from the tragic Rwandan genocide to build inclusive and prosperous societies.
Mr Masondo and the South African delegation to the Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers Conference (CSPOC), which is hosted by the Rwandan branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in Kigali, visited the Rwandan genocide memorial sites in Gisozi and at Parliament.
Mr Masondo said the emotionally draining experience of going through the graphic representations of incidents that led to the 1994 genocide of the Tutsis and the subsequent national reconciliation and nation-building efforts will forever be a reminder, not just to Rwandans, but to every nation around the world that divisive tendencies that threaten nation-building must not be allowed to flourish.
The Kigali Genocide Memorial sites feature educational videos, photographic and real skeletal remains of genocide victims, with excellent visitor guides that bring to life the memories of what happened.
The Gisozi Kigali Memorial is also the final resting place for over 250 000 victims of the genocide. Delegations of CSPOC Member Parliaments laid a memorial wreath for the victims of the Rwandan genocide, with pledges to do all in their power to suppress any similar tendency that may threaten nation-building, development and prosperity of the people.
The visit to the Genocide Memorial Site, which Mr Masondo described as a life-long lesson for all, was part of the official opening-day programme’s activities.
The theme of the 17th CSPOC is African Parliaments in the 21st Century.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.