Over 100 international students from ILPD Nyanza campus who called for peace also urged for stricter global commitment to make sure that what had happened in the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi does not happen again in any other part of the world.
The students, who came from different countries, including Rwanda, said that they had learnt a lot about the Genocide and its causes, which was very eye-opening and moving.
They pointed out that the international community needs to do more to ensure that such atrocities do not repeat themselves.
The students urged all people to work together in peace and harmony to rebuild the world and make it a better place for everyone.
Monday was a somber day for the students as they made the call to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre and the Campaign against Genocide museum. It was difficult to see the remains of so many people who had been killed, and to hear the stories of what had happened during the genocide.
The students felt it was important to see these places, though, so that they could understand the history of Rwanda and the people who had been affected by the genocide. Afterwards, they held a moment of silence to remember those who had been lost.
They were from six African countries, namely; Ghana, Cameroon, Gambia, Burundi, Uganda, and Rwanda, and are all pursuing postgraduate diplomas at the Institute Of Legal Practice And Development, Nyanza Campus (ILPD). All of them had come to study in Kenya with the hope of using their new skills to make a difference in their home countries. But after a few months, they realised that the ILPD was not what they had expected.
After touring the sites of the Rwandan genocide, the students observed that ‘peace is key to everything.’
“We have read a lot of stories about Rwanda and watched videos on YouTube, but what we have seen today is different from what we used to see,” said Teboh Sharon Jitto Majorie, a student from Cameroon. “What we have seen is the reality of what happened here and how important it is for us to live in peace.”
Without peace, it is difficult for a country to develop. This is because without peace, there is often instability and violence. This can prevent people from going to school, working, and accessing important services. It can also cause people to become refugees, as they flee violence and instability. Thus, peace is essential for development.
Siloru Sowe, another student from Gambia, said that the visit was a chance for them to learn from a country that has been in hardship and overcame it with the help of good governance.
“As young leaders, this is a good experience to learn from and normalise peace,” he said.
Mr Sowe said that The Gambia is currently going through a difficult time, and that it is important for young people to see how other countries have managed to overcome similar situations.
“We can learn a lot from Rwanda, and I hope that we can take what we have learned here back home and use it to help our own country,” he said.
Yves Sezirahiga, Acting Rector at the International Leadership and Public Diplomacy School (ILPD), spoke about the school’s program of taking students on a tour of Rwanda.
He said that the purpose of the tour is to educate students about Rwanda’s history and the role that unity, reconciliation, and good governance have played in the country’s development. He noted that the students, who come from diverse backgrounds and countries, have found the tour to be impactful in their learning.
The New Times Rwanda contributed to this report