Kigali, 08 August 2011
President Kagame today received in his office a group of international scholars and students who are on a summer camp trip to Rwanda organized by the interdisciplinary genocide studies center led by Professor Jean Pierre Karegeye. The scholars include writers, researchers and artists. During the meeting, President Kagame said that intellectuals should be independent of influence because there are some who are corrupted and made to use their knowledge to serve certain interests. He said that there are people who were convinced that Rwanda was a failed state after the genocide but when the rapid recovery challenged their analysis, they continue to struggle to make sure that their analysis is correct.
Speaking to the press after the meeting, Professor Karegeye said that in the wake of increasing genocide denial the researchers also expressed their willingness to go out and present facts as they are conferences and public lectures.
Boubacar Boris Diop, a Senegalese researcher, author, writer and journalist who authored a book on the Rwandan genocide said that the discussions with the President focused on Rwanda’s resilience and recovery against numerous odds: “We also informed the President about our role as researchers and authors on the genocide to point out the truth and stand by it and at the same time fight the propaganda of genocide deniers.”
Prof. Wandia Njoya, a Kenyan academic and researcher said that the discussions with the President gave the researchers an insight into how Rwanda’s resilience: “He told us that every time Rwanda is unfairly questioned or criticized it is an opportunity for the Rwandan people be more focused and move ahead. So we think our strategy would be having as many voices as possible standing for the truth.We need more voices to counter the deniers and dispel the falsehoods that are being spread by people who deny that the genocide never happened here.”
Talking about the upcoming visit to France by President Kagame, Ariane Zayteff, said that she hopes that the visit will serve as an opportunity for France to acknowledge its role in the genocide and make sincere amends for its failures: “I hope he will be well received and it will serve as an opportunity for France to acknowledge its role in the 1994 Genocide and also confront its colonial past. I hope the two countries will be on the path to reconciliation.”