The moment the word got out this thursday morning that Rwanda’s Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Aloysia Inyumba, had died at the age of fourty-eight, twitter lit up. President Paul Kagame wrote ‘A.Inyumba will be greatly missed & remembered among others for her Liberation and Gender credentials/effort(s)! May her Soul rest in Peace’. UNDP Rwanda director Auke Lootsma wrote: ‘Mourning the loss of Hon. Aloisea Inyumba, a dear friend and great human being who gave all she got to her country. May you rest in peace.’ Director of the Gender Team in the Bureau for Development Policy of the UNDP, Winnie Byanyima, wife of Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye wrote: ‘We mourn the loss of a dear Sister, one of Rwanda's greatest patriots, Hon Aloisea Inyumba. A senior member of the RPF, a freedom fighter.’ Zainab Salbi, president of Washington-based Women for Women international, wrote : ‘Very sad that minister of gender in #Rwanda, Aloysia Inyumba, has passed away today, a wonderful woman who did a lot for Rwandese women.’ Swanee Hunt writes: 'So, so sad to lose one of greatest women in our Women Waging Peace Network' Read about Aloisea Inyumba (in her blogpost 'In Memoriam Aloysia Inyumba'). The EU delegation to Rwanda chimed in: ‘The EU Delegation ‘offers its condolences to the family of H.E. Minister Aloisea Inyumba and to the people of Rwanda. Rest in peace!’ Cindy McCain, wife of 2008 Republican Presidential candidate John McCain, wrote : ‘It is rare that someone can change your life in such a profound way that you are never the same. Senator Aloisea Inyumba from Rwanda did just that to me.’ She adds on Facebook:
‘The words that came out of Aloisea’s mouth changed me forever. In a few soft, dignified sentences she explained why she has forgiven those who hurt her and her family. Why for the good of Rwanda and mankind, forgiveness was the future not hatred. She forgave these god-forsaken criminals for all they had done and was now working along side them to secure a peaceful existence.
Senator Inyumba and I became friends. I really don’t have that many good friends. She was one. I brought her to the Republican Convention in Minneapolis (in 2008) to salute her strength, courage and commitment to what is good about mankind.’
Ben Affleck tweets: ‘Deep sadness to lose a friend & hero, the remarkable Aloisea Inyumba, Rwanda’s Minister, Gender & Women in Development’ and links to The New Times article ‘Rwanda: The Passing of an Icon’. Rick Warren tweets : ‘We grieve with Rwanda in the death of our dear friend Minister Aloisea Inyumba. We pray for Dr.Richard and children. #PSFMeetsPresident’. UNICEF Representative to Rwanda, Noala Skinner, is quoted in The NewTimes claiming Aloisea Inyumba was:
"a friend, an inspiration and full of dignity and a true activist for women & children."
Scott M. Weber, Director-General Interpeace &
of the World Economic Forum , tweets : ‘Very much saddened by the death this morning of Aloysea
Inyumba, friend and Board member of our local #Rwanda partner IRDP. #peace’ and adds:‘ Aloysea Inyumba was the first
President of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of #Rwanda. She was a kind
and committed person.’ Josh Ruxin, according to his profile a ‘Columbia
University expert on development living in Rwanda’, tweeted : ‘Devastated
to hear that the great Minister Aloisea Inyumba - fierce advocate for all good
things -- is dead’ and ‘Incredible interview with the late Aloisea Inyumba - if
you care about gender and human rights, read this:( Michael Fairbanks Interviews CFO of the Revolution)’.
Twitter messages from Rwandans emphasize the role she played in the ‘invincible’ (inkotanyi) revolutionary army (Rwandan Patriotic Front) that rules Rwanda since 1994. Lucy Mbabazi writes: ‘Intwari (comrade) Aloysea Inyumba - R.I.P! There is none like you!’. Yolande Makolo: ‘RPF tribute to Minister Aloisea Inyumba: She will be foreverremembered as an articulate & compelling voice for Rwanda’. @Kamuhinda writes: ‘#InyumbaAloysea Read CFO of theRevolution and Watch (AloiseaInyumba speak at Women@Google 2007) power of conviction grounded in humanity & ideology #RPFInkotanyi‘. @GerardRwandan writes : ‘Re-tweet if you think this 25th Anniversary of @rpfinkotanyi should be dedicated to Late Aloisea Inyumba in respect of her remarkable work.’ The RPF Inkotanyi twitter account @rpfinkotanyi says: ‘We join the nation in mourning a great woman who devoted her life in building the new Rwanda we enjoy today. RPF has lost a great cadre. RIP’. Alex Masereka writes on the Red Pepper blog:
'Inyumba has been a respected senior cadre in the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), and is credited for having played a central role in mobilising for the party’s support during the 1990-94 liberation struggle.'Rwanda's High Commissioner to South Africa, Vincent Karega, quoted in The New Times, emphasizes this aspect in his eulogy as well:
‘Inyumba shall always be remembered in Rwanda and beyond as a true revolutionary and an extraordinary daughter of our continent Africa.’