Denying the genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda is a concern to us all.

Jean Paul Ndindamahina

By Jean Paul Ndindamahina

The genocide against Tutsis that was perpetrated in and around Rwandan cities and towns, villages, hills by hills is not a hidden agenda that one would simply deny. The genocide against Tutsis took the lives of thousands innocent human beings mostly Tutsi men, women, young and old. However, most Rwandans especially young people face a dangerous situation where the truth of what happened and why continue to be a classified top secret. This makes protecting the truth from deniers becomes harder because what happened in 1994 in Rwanda has double school of thoughts that are hardly challenged which makes the genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda being contestable.

The truth against the genocide against Tutsis cannot be effectively protected when there is a still unexplained dark side attached to it and this prevents serving justice for Rwandan genocide victims as a goodwill and the best effort to prevent the genocide from occurring again. The Rwandan government and those genocide umbrella organisations instead of championing for the incontestable truth about the genocide against Tutsis that can be educated to everybody, they are busy seeding the hatred and divisions among Rwandans thus deepening the suffering of Rwanda genocide survivors and endangering an ongoing reconciliation and peace among Rwandan ethnic. These politicians are instead planning the flag of their national political party, using the genocide laws to tarnish the image of opposition as a fear-mongering political tool that willfully sow the seed of hate. 

Those who attempt to seek the truth from that dark side of genocide are easily depicted to be genocide deniers, a crime that those who are wrongly convicted face not less than 25 years in jail. Sadly, as the hate seeded by the government and these so-called genocide umbrella organisations, genocide survivors continue to be targeted, dehumanized, refused justice and recognition on Rwandan soil and justice towards this heinous crime inside Rwanda is a total shame.

For those Rwandans majority of whom are Rwandan genocide survivors who are seeking the truth of what happened and why and motives of what led to the event of the genocide against Tutsis, they are passionary perceived as genocide deniers by these powerful government machines and government backed media that is busy sowing the seeds of hate among Rwandans. However, knowing the incontestable truth of the genocide against Tutsis is our last effort as Rwandans to detect the emergence of genocide and acts that may lead to other human atrocities.

It is a dangerous situation because those who would champion for justice towards genocide victims hold prominent public roles and this makes fighting impunity becoming much harder for those who attempt to do so and reconciliation between both ethnic Hutus and Tutsis seemingly becoming unachievable milestone. The persistence of a cult of personality accorded to some war criminals and genocide perpetrators only promote political rhetoric that aims to deny the magnitude and motives of Rwandan genocide against Tutsis and Rwandans are forced to only accept one single sided narrative as told by those who hold prominent public roles in the current Rwandan government and offices. These people continue to seed lies in their aim to continue confusing genocide survivors which makes them easily protect their public roles and political interests. These lies backed by political and personal interests makes justice and reconciliation in Rwanda become an impossible task.

We would be wrong to think or believe that even those who were fighting against the dictorial nepotistic regime of MRND did not play a role in the genocide against Tutsis. One of Rwanda’s prominent individual who hold a Rwanda senate office and who was part of the struggle against MRND government made it crystal clear that their men were part of Interahamwe militia. However, the true inquiry regarding this account of truth has been criminalized by the current Rwandan government which continues to obstacle incontestable truth of genocide against Tutsis and consequently justice and reconciliation.  

It is this contestable truth of genocide against Tutsis that continues to deny justice towards Rwanda genocide victims. Despite having set up the international criminal tribunal of Rwanda in Arusha, some countries are reluctant to depot genocide perpetrators to Rwanda to face justice. For instance, UK has refused to deport some people who are accused by Rwandan government to have participated in the genocide. Many countries around the globe are reluctant to stop and punish the Rwandan genocide deniers because the confusion of what happened in 1994 in Rwanda remains a mystery. The lack of uncontested truth is causing a delay in justice as many perpetrators including those who currently hold Rwandan public offices are yet to be brought to justice. 

The genocide denial is not as concern for now as knowing the truth of what happened and why, is a priority for us to be able to protect that truth. Unfortunately, we do not have a needed truth as a strong base to fight against genocide denial as that truth remains a hidden secret. And the same truth is criminalized in Rwanda as those who try to dig it deeper are found on the wrong side of the Rwandan law of the genocide ideology. Therefore, the current Rwandan genocide ideology only is implemented to protect perpetrators and its role is to seed discord and mistrust among Rwandans which increases the chance of witnessing another conflict among Rwandan ethnics if nothing is done to rectify how Rwandan genocide history is handled.

The best first step forward to minimise the denial of genocide against Tutsis is to allow the truth to be told. This is a long-standing request by majority Rwandans. However, the Rwanda government has instead chosen to brutally force people to accept its own narratives without a challenge and those who do attempt to challenge the government’s own narratives are maliciously labelled genocide deniers by government backed media and those so-called genocide umbrella organisations.

Despite the lies and lack of incontestable truth around the genocide against Tutsis, Rwandan should continue to believe in international Remembrance Day of the genocide against Tutsis as endorsed by United Nations which is set on 15 April each year to show their commitment towards justice and truth while acknowledging the human dignity of the victims and survivors of the genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda. However, this is not enough to bring the dark history into the spotlight. 

Genocide denial remains a huge concern to every Rwandan because the victims it continues to create. Therefore, in our best effort to prevent genocide from taking place on Rwandan soil or anywhere else in the world, we must all unite as we seek the truth of what really happened and press international community to bring all genocide perpetrators to the justice including those who hold prominent roles in the current Rwandan government. Therefore, establishing the truth precedes establishing laws against denial and the truth is our hope to have a lasting impact against genocide against Tutsis denial.


Jean Paul Ndindamahina, is a British-Rwandan, currently reading a doctorate in social science at Solent University focusing on generational culture inclusion as a management mechanism through culture engagement in the organisation technological development effort.