May 29th 2021 conference

For the first time since the 1994 genocide, Rwandan youth inside and outside of Rwanda are engaging in an own-initiative discussion on cooperation and the future of the country.

Discussion topics were:

  1. Overcoming Rwanda’s History
  2. Attitude and Actions of the International Community
  3. The Case of The Netherlands
  4. The south-African Model
  5. Youth of  Rwanda and Diaspora

You can watch the conference here on YouTube : Click here


Johan Swinnen

Johan Swinnen, was Belgian ambassador to Rwanda during the genocide and expert Great Lakes Region. He will discuss the role of the international community in Rwanda.

Gloria Uwishema

Gloria Uwishema lives and works in the Netherlands and has been politically active for many years. She asks if and how Rwanda can live with its own history.

Prosper Iraguha-Shima

Prosper Iraguha-Shima is an entrepreneur and an expert on trade with the Great Lakes Region in Africa. He asks questions about the close relationship between the Netherlands and Rwanda.

Dr Egide Ndayishimiye

Dr Egide Ndayishimiye is a doctor and lives in South Africa. For years, he has been an advocate for a peaceful and stable Great Lakes region. He looks at South Africa. Can that country serve as an example for Rwanda?

Natascha Abinegeye

Natascha Abinegeye, board member of the Belgian Rwandan human rights organisation Jambo, asks young people what they can do together for Rwanda.

Recommendations coming from the 29/5 conference
How can Rwanda achieve true reconciliation and shared prosperity?

For the Rwanda leadership:

The troubled history of Rwanda is not due to irrational hatred, regionalism and tribalism, but to political leadership that favoured one group over another.

We therefore urge the Rwandan government to strive to inclusion and not exclusion of certain groups.

The leadership must understand that once in power you no longer have the privilege to choose sides! You need to become the leader of a nation, regardless of your region, or ethnicity.

We urge the Rwandan government not to remain trapped in history but accept the good, the bad and the ugly to build the future: democracy for all and the rule of law that respects human rights.

Please think about how to move your people forward and guarantee their well-being, build and secure future generations instead of spending time sowing seeds of hatred and divisions through collective guilt linked to their past.

Rwanda is a country where 75% of the population is below 35 years of age. The future generations are convinced that changes are necessary and that the young generations must be agents of that change to build a country where all Rwandans will live in peace and harmony. It must start today and not tomorrow. So we urge you to include the young generations in the discussion about the future of Rwanda.

We urge you to look at the sustainability of the Rwandan model of development and ask yourself how sustainable this model really is. We ask for an open, respectful dialogue.

We urge you to look at the actual situation of human rights in Rwanda, and ask yourself how you really treat people who oppose you? We ask for an open, respectful dialogue.

We urge you to do everything you can to promote stability, security, integration and development in the Great Lakes Region. We ask for an open, respectful dialogue.

We urge for transparency and truth in all government actions and organizations. Without knowing the truth, there can be no reconciliation, justice and stability in the region.

Truth has to be the basis of reconciliation.

Government has official narrative and tells us what to think, who and how to commemorate. We ask the Rwandan government to stop enforcing the official truth by violence.

To stop punishing people who are discussing the official narrative.

We ask you to give the Rwandan youth an education filled with truth without compromise.  When the truth is only partly told, the truth is diluted and the next generation will inherit this partly, policy driven truth.

We ask you to stop ignoring all other crimes but the genocide against Tutsi. The genocide committed against the Tutsi’s is a shame to Rwandan people and humanity but ignoring all other crimes create a big obstacle against reconciliation in Rwanda.

We urge the Rwandan embassies to hear the young generation abroad, have a dialogue with the young Rwandans in diaspora. You are the parent and you are obliged to listen.

Stop people dividing into two categories namely those who are with the RPF and those who are not. Stop promoting divisionism and undermining national unity.

For the youth:

Refuse and reject anything that might lead to staying in the circle of division, non-respect, blaming the other, distrust.

Think of sustainable stability & prosperity of RWANDA.

Own responsibility of your future.

Accept that we all have our personal stories and demand the right to own your story unapologetically.

Acknowledge we have a culture of manipulation.

Insist on a dialogue that gives space to all parties.

Those who live outside Rwanda: your freedom comes with a responsibility. Ask your leaders why they do what they do. Ask big companies why they use blood minerals and pollute your earth. Let yourself be heard. Be loud. Be prepared to learn, so you know what actions to take.

For the older generation:

Take full ownership of the past and don’t burden the youth with it.

For Rwanda and the international community

To answer key-questions, a neutral investigation commissions must be installed, in order to come to a peaceful, reconciliated Rwanda for everyone.

These are the key-questions:

How is it possible that so many people have fallen into the trap of radicalization and polarization, of extremism, that have led to the abominable tragedy of a genocide. Was it a pre-meditated plan? Who had advantage of laying this trap?

What happened to Fred Rwigema, early October 1990?

Who is responsible for several political assassinations.

Who is accountable for the downing of the presidential plane, April 6th?

Why did the genocide last that long.

Have all the motivations of the Opération Turquoise been revealed?

Why did Europe fail?

We ask you to stand up for justice. Rwandans need justice that provides rooms for the truth which not only cleanses their fears but also provides good ground for a genuine reconciliation between all ethnic groups.

We ask you to stop ignoring all other crimes but the genocide against Tutsi. The genocide committed against the Tutsi’s is a shame to Rwandan people and humanity but ignoring all other crimes create a big obstacle against reconciliation in Rwanda

For the international community:

We ask for a genuine and open debate about the sustainability of the development policy of Rwanda and the promotion of universal and fundamental human rights. Stability and security in the Great lakes Region should be of serious concern to the international community. The mapping report of the UN may no longer be left without any follow-up.

We ask for transparency as to the agenda’s that might threat or undermine stability and security in the Region.

We ask you to join in with the internal dynamics. Only then will you be credible.

Start or continue with projects that aims at cooperation between sponsors and local NGO’s, schools and businesses. This leads to addressing the root causes of the problems through practical solutions. And aim at consistency and engagement.

If you love peace, please speak out to force the government of Rwanda to look back and provide means of true reconciliation.

You say Rwanda is complicated. But if you can understand Iraque, you can also understand the Great Lakes Region. You cannot understand Rwanda without knowing what happened in Burundi, DRC, Uganda. So, you have to educate yourself. Form your own critical mind, so you can understand much better what is happening and take action.