Rwandans and friends of Rwanda in the United Arab Emirates(UAE), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Bahrain came together in Dubai and remotely on Friday 21st May to honor over a million lives killed in a gruesome way during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
Addressing the audience, H.E. Emmanuel Hategeka, Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to the UAE paid tribute to victims and honored survivors who gave all they could by way of forgiveness. He noted that the genocide is a stark reminder of the greatest failure of humanity and total failure of the international community in recent history. He called for fighting genocide denial and revisionism.
“The genocide against the Tutsi was stopped 27 years ago, but the genocide ideology and genocide suspects still at large continue to propagate genocide denial and revisionism even among the unborn youth at the time making the commitment to never again almost mission impossible. On this occasion, I urge the youth in whose hands the future of our country lies to distance themselves from genocide ideology, genocide denial and revisionist narratives,” Ambassador Hategeka urged.
“We also call upon the international community to recommit to Never Again by bringing to justice genocide suspects still at large. There are now 1,100 genocide fugitives roaming in different countries and they have not been apprehended,” Ambassador Hategeka added.
In her remarks, H.E. Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation expressed compassion and solidarity: “I am deeply honored and deeply humbled to represent my country at this 27th Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. This is a very important moment and a very important milestone for us to remember and honor the victims and also for us to pay respect to the survivors and ensure that what happened never happens again. There is a lot of respect, compassion and solidarity from the people of the United Arab Emirates and from the leadership of the United Arab Emirates towards our fellow brethren in Rwanda and also the leadership of Rwanda led by H.E. the President Paul Kagame, who we hold a lot of respect for; we continue to enjoy strong relations with Rwanda.”
“We stand hand in hand with you and we pray that this not only happens again but we work actively together to ensure all forms of hatred, all forms of extremism are fought and tackled,” H.E. Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy added.
Ashish J. Thakkar, the founder of Mara Group and a friend of Rwanda noted at the event that Rwanda’s post-genocide progress is a result of visionary leadership. “It is not easy to remember and it is not easy to unite after that and the most important part it is not easy to renew. But thanks to the amazing leadership, thanks to the amazing people in Rwanda, the country has been able to do that,” Ashish said.
“We have to focus on how far we have come as a country and that genocide should never happen again. Leadership is such a key component in this, the UAE has demonstrated this. Leadership can take you to completely different heights as has Rwanda. God has blessed Rwanda truly with H.E President Paul Kagame whose leadership and his true visionary style but also his humbleness, authenticity and truly living it; not only saying the right things but actually doing them is the most important thing. We have all seen this and we are still seeing it”
The 27 commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda officially started on 7th April and will last a hundred days.