Nowhere is more divided than a nation with genocide in its recent history. Rwanda is one of these places, where individualism led people to commit atrocities against people of other creeds. With no respect for difference in culture and opinion and a fear of loss of one's own cultural assertion, violence became part of everyday life. The trauma and suffering caused by acts of violence are universal across all people and when the cause of the abuse lays in culture and race, the hurt and confusion runs even deeper. In the act of treating people of a certain kind with cruelty and suspicion the group of people in question can either become violent too or lose their sense of place in the world.
In Rwanda, the whole nation is coming to terms with what happened in the 1990's. A massive genocide took place which saw the destruction of communities across the nation. Now, in the aftermath of this tragedy, the government is making roads to unify the people through their story. No matter what side of the fight someone found themselves on, the same story of tragedy unifies the two. It's not an issue what religion a person follows or what their heritage is, the issue is intolerance of differing circumstances and views. Those Rwandan survivors who witnessed the atrocities and have grown up in the crater of genocide can move on in positive ways with the terrible truth behind them.
The unification of the populous begins at day one, where the unity was broken. Since peace has been declared and the violence cleaned up, those responsible punished and those caught up rehabilitated and re-sensitised the people can move forward and begin to regrow as a unified community. The shared notion of the wrongdoing which caused suffering for so many unifies the differences and puts the entire picture into a civilised perspective. The government of Rwanda is aware of this necessity and is helping to instigate a new national story that brings people together following on from division.
Across the nation, several Genocide Memorial Centres now stand as permanent reminders of what happens when personal feelings and prejudices are left unchecked. If a government becomes complacent with the hatred and fear surrounding conflicting cultural heritage then it gives the individual people reason to believe they are entitled to think and act in destructive ways. The moral impetus to get along has to come from the top as well as the bottom. Where there is a divide, natural or not, there has to be a shared vision of what is best for all. If we can't produce this, a shared vision of what is wrong for all can also do the job.
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