The people and government of Rwanda as well as members of the international community Tuesday commemorated the 26th anniversary of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, during which more than 800,000 people, majority of them Tutsi, but also moderate Hutu, Twa and others were systematically killed in Rwanda.
Every April 7, the global community commemorates the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda. The day aims to create awareness on the circumstances that gave rise to these crimes and on the duty that the international community should have fulfilled at the time.
It was in 2003 that the UN set April 7 as the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda, which was recently modified to the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Since then, every year, on or around April 7, the UN would organize commemorative events at its headquarters and at UN offices around the world. However, this year’s commemorative was postponed due to the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the UN, the day offers the international community an opportunity to consider the factors that led to such mass atrocity, and to renew the collective pledge of “never again”. It however regrets the fact that despite numerous UN General Assembly resolutions condemning genocide denial or revisionism, such behavior had become widespread adding that unless the world remembered the lessons learned, it would never live up to its pledge to ensure that no other country endured the pain and suffering that Rwanda had faced.
“As we renew our resolve to prevent such atrocities from ever happening again, we are seeing dangerous trends of rising xenophobia, racism and intolerance in many parts of the world. They are an affront to our values, and threaten human rights, social stability and peace. Wherever they occur, hate speech and incitement to violence should be identified, confronted and stopped to prevent them leading, as they have in the past, to hate crimes and genocide,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
In his message, chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said: “Although we will not be formally gathering at the African Union Commission for this event as usual, I encourage you to commemorate this day from wherever you are…I would like to pay tribute to the leadership and the people of Rwanda for consistently working towards ‘Never Again’ and for emerging through resilience and unity from the terrible past and putting Rwanda on a development path that continues to inspire many countries on our continent and beyond.”
The 34th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African …