By Racheal Nambeya, Team Assistant, UNIC Lusaka
As part of the commemoration of the 25thAnniversary of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in
Rwanda, UNIC Lusaka organized an educational outreach activity on 17 April 2019 at which the UN Zambia Resident Coordinator, a.i. George Okech made a presentation to over 160 students at Mulungushi University in Kabwe district. The event was organised by UNIC in partnership with a student group, the International Relations Association of Mulungushi University Students (IRAMUS).
The presentation focused on events that led to the genocide in which more than 800,000 people, mostly Tutsis but also moderate Hutus, Twa and others who were opposed to the genocide were systematically killed in 100 days, effects of the genocide, how genocide can be avoided, lessons learnt and the role of the United Nations in preventing such mass killings of people.
Speaking during the event, Mulungushi University Acting Vice-Chancellor Dr. Judith Lungu called for a need by humanity to learn from past mistakes in order to build a better future.
“As Mulungushi University, we pay homage to the people who endured that abominable cruelty during the genocide. Only by looking at the past can we strive to avoid the mistakes made. “Students should always strive to encourage the spirit of ‘Ubuntu’ among each other and set high ethical standards for themselves for now and the future generations to come,” she said.
And Dr. Okech who is also Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Country Representative emphasized on the vital role that youths play in fostering peace and respect for diversity.
“As we commemorate, let us all pledge to work together to build a harmonious future for all people, everywhere and further preserve peace through co-existence among tribal groupings, tolerance, respect for human rights,” he said.
During the event, students also watched a short film documentary titled ‘Kwibuka’ after which they interacted with Dr Okech in a very participatory and though-provoking question and answer session through which issues around the genocide in Rwanda and UN role were clarified.
Moving a vote of thanks, Natasha Mapulanga a 4thyear student of International Relations, thanked the UN for engaging with students on issues of peace and noted the critical role that
the UN has played in ensuring international peace and security since its founding in 1945.
Every year, the United Nations organizes, through its Outreach programme on the Rwanda Genocide, outreach activities to honour those who were murdered and reflect on the suffering of those who survived. The Outreach Programme on the Rwanda Genocide and the United Nations is an information and educational outreach programme run by the UN Department of Global Communications.