Rwanda, at the weekend, held its yearly remembrance of the genocide that took place in 1994, under the theme “Remember, Unite and Renew.”
Officials of the Rwandan Embassy in Nigeria and other guests on Saturday gathered at the Nicon Hilton Hotel Abuja.
The Ambassador of Rwanda to Nigeria, Mr. Kamanzi Stanislas, in his address, pointed out that Kwibuka is part of the history of Rwanda to remember the genocide actually took place and had a large death toll of more than a million Tutsis.
“We need to reflect on what led to the carnage which was as a result of the leadership that never cared about the people. Doing so firstly is to bring about a shift in better governance and the rule of law.
“The next part is for the next generation to be aware of what took place and to bequeath a better Rwanda to generation coming,” Ambassador Stanislas said.
An Embassy official explained, “It is observed every year on this date (April 7) and a week of mourning has been dedicated whereby Rwandans and other intranational can join to pay tribute to reflect on what had happened.
“And chat a way forward on what to do to counter the ideology of genocide especially to make sure that what happened in Rwanda never happens again both in Rwanda and other part of the world.”
At home in Kigali, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame and the dean of foreign diplomatic corps laid a wreath at the mass grave that houses more than 250,000 remains of the genocide victims.
President Kagame noted that the truth about genocide in Rwanda holds key to sustainable unity and reconciliation among Rwandans.
“We should continue writing history about the genocide and telling the truth behind the cause of it. Rwandans must remain at the forefront of this fight to remember and keep the memory alive, to tell the truth,” he noted.
“We must keep rebuilding, increasing our strength at every level, economically, security, and ensure our society is functioning well. This will help us to be resilient despite our bad history,” he said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in his statement, said “states have a fundamental responsibility to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”.
“It is imperative that we unite to prevent such atrocities from occurring, and that the international community sends a strong message to perpetrators that they will be held accountable. To save people at risk, we must go beyond words.
“Today, we remember all those who were murdered and reflect on the suffering of the survivors, who have shown that reconciliation is possible, even after a tragedy of such monumental proportions.
“Rwanda has learned from its tragedy; so must the international community”.
Guterres expressed concern about “the rise of racism, hate speech and xenophobia around the world. These base manifestations of human cruelty provide the breeding ground for far more evil acts,” he added.