UN harps on reconciliation in remembrance of Rwanda genocide

Antonio Guterres
Antonio Guterres

The United Nations has reminded the international community of the Rwandan genocide of 1994 and its lessons for reconciliation and world peace.

This came through the Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and the President of the General Assembly (PGA), Amb. Tijani Muhammad-Bande, in separate video messages to mark this year’s “International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda”.

Established by the UN General Assembly on April 7, 2003, the day honours the memory of the over one million victims of the genocide and its survivors.

It also seeks to raise awareness among younger generations about the legacy of the incident and the values of a culture of peace.

Guterres emphasised that the international community should never allow such atrocity to happen anywhere in the world.

“We must say no to hate speech and xenophobia, and reject the forces of polarisation, nationalism, and protectionism.

“On this day, we honour those who were killed, and we gain inspiration from the capacity of those who survived for reconciliation and restoration,” he said.

“Since the genocide, Rwanda has demonstrated that it is possible to rise from the ashes, to heal, and to rebuild a stronger, more sustainable society,” Guterres added.

According to him, the battle against the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, and other global challenges can only be won through shared humanity.

For Muhammad-Bande, it is every one’s responsibility to “guarantee the human rights and dignity of every person and uphold the rule of law”.

“Early intervention is key and we must prioritise inclusion by fostering tolerance, combatting hate speech, and promoting intercultural dialogue.

“In memory of the victims of the genocide, we will counter hatred in all its manifestations.

“We are inspired by the compassion of the courageous survivors of these atrocities, and those who did what they could to prevent them,” the Nigerian envoy said.

Both officials paid tribute to Rwandans for remaining united in their commitment to reconciliation and nation building.

Muhammad-Bande commended all Rwandan troops serving in UN peacekeeping missions around the world. “Your service, born from sacrifice, gives hope to us all,” the PGA said.

The Rwandan genocide, also known as the genocide against the Tutsi, was a mass slaughter of Tutsi minority ethnic group in Rwanda during the Rwandan Civil War, which started in 1990.

The killing was masterminded by members of the Hutu majority government during the 100-day period from April 7 to mid-July 1994.

Moderate Hutu and others who opposed the killings were also slaughtered during this period. (NAN)

– Apr. 7, 2020 @ 10:27 GMT |

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