The US President, Barrack Obama and the UN Secretary General joined the Rwandan people
The US President, Barrack Obama and the UN Secretary General joined the Rwandan people as they, yesterday, began the 18th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, that claimed over a million lives
According to a statement from the White House, Obama said that it was tragedy and horror to see the massive killing of Rwandans.
“Eighteen years after the Rwandan genocide, we pause to reflect with horror and sadness on the 100 days in 1994 when over one million Tutsi lost their lives” Obama said.
“The specter of this slaughter of mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters haunts us still, and reminds the nations of the world of our shared responsibility to do all we can to protect civilians and to ensure that evil of this magnitude never happens again.”
Obama added: “The United States grieves with the Rwandan people, and we remember those whose lives were cut short.”
In a related development, the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, issued a statement condemning the Genocide and emphasizing that justice will be done to those responsible.
“To all those around the world, who persist in suppressing their fellow citizens crying out for dignity and freedom, we send a clear message: justice will be done. Impunity must become a relic of the past,” Ban said.
“We are also working to strengthen conflict prevention and mediation, and to uphold the responsibility to protect. Preventing genocide is a collective obligation. Let us continue to work together to ensure a future forever free of genocide. This would be the most fitting way to remember those lost in Rwanda 18 years ago, and to honour the resilience of the survivors.”
Obama acknowledged Rwanda’s remarkable economic progress and commended her contribution towards ensuring peace in Africa, adding that America will continue strengthening ties between the two countries.
“We also recognize Rwanda’s progress in moving beyond this horrible tragedy, the strides it has taken to improve the lives of its people, and its contributions to protecting civilians from other nations in UN peacekeeping missions around the world.”
“The U.S. government and the American people will continue to extend friendship, partnership, and support to the Rwandan people as they seek to build a peaceful and prosperous future.” Obama noted.
The United Nations is planning to commemorate the Genocide on April 11.
The memorial ceremony is organized by the UN Department of Public Information, in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Rwanda to the United Nations.
Commemorative events led by UN Information Centres around the world are planned in Bangladesh, Belgium, Burundi, Colombia, Congo, India, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Namibia, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine and Zambia.
This year’s theme is “learning from history to shape a bright future.”