By Jean d’Amour Mugabo
Rwanda has denounced the conference by Seth Sendashonga Institute (IScid) which is expected to take place in Brussels, Belgium on February 23, 2019.
Termed a negationist conference, it is believed that it would be a debate on the denial of genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi, according to the Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG).
In the announcement, the CNLG Executive Secretary Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana said the IScid is an association created on May 1, 1999 in Brussels bringing together the genocide deniers.
“This denial conference held two months before the commemoration of the genocide committed against the Tutsi is more than ever a proof of the existence of gravediggers of memory who coalesce to erase the memory traces of this genocide consecrated by all the authorised international bodies,” reads part of the announcement released on Friday.
The 1994 genocide against the Tutsi was recognised by the United Nations back in its aftermath and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was established in Arusha, Tanzania to try the perpetrators.
IScid was named after Seth Sendashonga, the Rwanda’s Interior Minister from 1994 to 1995 who was gunned down in Nairobi, Kenya in 1998 where he had exiled after falling apart with the regime.
CNLG states that the IScid conference speakers all share genocide denial ideas including Belgian Academician, Prof Filip Reyntjens, exiled Rwanda’s former Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu, and former Belgian envoy to Rwanda from August 1990 to April 1994, Mr Johan Swinnen.
Others are Jean Baptiste Nkuliyingoma, Gustave Mbonyumutwa and Dr Innocent Biruka,
“They defend the false formulation of “Rwandan genocide” with the aim of attempting to enthrone an imaginary genocide allegedly committed against Hutu,” said Dr Bizimana in an announcement.
Citing examples of each of the speakers’ previous actions trivialising the genocide, Dr Bizimana said the conference must be denounced and called Rwandans and friends of Rwanda to join forces in the fight against genocide denial.
“CNLG commends in advance all those who recognise and act for the dignity of the victims and survivors of the Genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi,” concludes the announcement.
Rwanda is readying for the 25th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi. The 100 days of commemoration will start on April 7 under the theme “Remember, unite, renew.”