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World Commemorates Genocide with A Call to ‘Never Again’

by Daniel Sabiiti
8:43 pm

Laying the wreath at Genocide monument in Arusha

 World leaders and government officials have joined Rwandans in the 29th commemoration of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi with a call to action to prevent future atrocities.

Today, Rwanda started the national commemoration week that pays tribute to more than one million lives of innocent Tutsi who were killed in one hundred days from April 7 and July 4, 1994.

Antonio Guterres

The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, paid tribute to the victims, survivors, and the resilience of Rwandans and called on the international community to reflect on the genocide and take action to prevent similar atrocities from happening again.

“29 years since the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, we must never forget how easily hate speech turns to hate crime. Let us be ever vigilant – and always ready to act, Guterres said.

Special Advisor on Genocide Prevention, Alice Wairimu Nderitu, said this commemoration period is so important as not only must we remember the horrifying instances of past genocides, but we must also draw lessons for the present and future and continuously express commitment to preventing them from happening in future.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland paid tribute to victims of genocide and reminded the world that collective responsibilities are needed to foster lasting and sustainable peace.

Patricia Scotland

Scotland commended Commonwealth Chair-in-Office President Paul Kagame and his Government for their work towards rebuilding and unifying Rwanda.

“Today we commemorate the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda and pay tribute to those who lost their lives and those who suffered. Today is a reminder of our collective responsibilities toward fostering lasting and sustainable peace,” Scotland said on Twitter.

Also Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the EU Commission said: “We commend Rwanda and its people for their determination to stand up from the ashes, rebuild the country and reconcile.”

Charles Michel, the President of the European Council said: “At a moment when hate speech is reaching dangerous levels in the region, we must remember the past more than ever and join forces to Remember, Unite, Renew.”

The East African Community (EAC) staff, International Communities based in Arusha, and Arusha Residents led by Arumeru District Commissioner, Emmanuella K. Mtatifikolo joined Rwanda to Commemorate the 1994 genocide against Tutsi where they held a walk to remember.

“NEVER AGAIN” should not only be a slogan but should also be translated into concrete actions as we strive to be “One People for One Destiny” – EAC Secretary General, Dr. Peter Mathuki said on Twitter.

Youth in Arusha

The EAC also stated that 29 years later, Rwanda has made tremendous strides that have exceeded expectations and should be rightly commended for doing so in attaining Unity and Reconciliation

The German foreign affairs ministry said: “Today, we are joining the Rwandan people in commemorating the Genocide against the Tutsi which began 29 years ago. We mourn the victims and firmly declare that such a horrendous crime must never be allowed to happen again.”

Commemoration in South Korea

Rwandans and top government officials in China and South Korea, on Friday, April 7, also commemorated the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Rwanda’s envoy to China, Amb James Kimonyo presided over the ceremony at the embassy premises and was attended by Chinese officials who conveyed a solidarity message to the people of Rwanda and survivors in particular.

“It is heartening that under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, the government and people of Rwanda have walked out of the shadow of history, achieved national reconciliation, and embarked on a development path that suits the country’s national conditions. Rwanda has thus maintained national stability and social harmony and achieved rapid economic growth,” said Shi Shaojing, the representative of the Chinese government at the ceremony.

Commemoration in China

In South Korea, diplomats residing in Seoul, officials from the government of Korea, friends of Rwanda, and the Rwandan community were joined by Ban Ki-moon, the former UN Secretary-General who praised Rwanda’s resilience today.

“Over the past 29 years, Rwandans have demonstrated strong resilience in overcoming the greatest tragedies and, in the process, have inspired the rest of the world,” Ki-moon said.

Ban Ki-moon served as Secretary-General of the United Nations from 2007 to 2016.

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