Rwanda’s envoy to Turkey Williams Nkurunziza on Tuesday said that Genocide deniers pose an existential threat to humanity.
The envoy said this as he led the Rwandan community in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, and friends of Rwanda in an event to mark the 24th commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
The event, held at the Cankaya Municipality Sanatlar Merkezi in Ankara, was attended by more than 350 people, including Turkish government officials.
The commemorative event was also attended by Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano, UN Resident Coordinator in Turkey as well as envoys from DR Congo, Switzerland, Japan, Libya, Benin, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Niger, South Africa, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Djibouti, and Cuba.
In her speech, Vojáčková-Sollorano, noted that this is the time to remember and reflect on the suffering of the survivors, who have shown that reconciliation is possible, even after suffering from a tragedy of such monumental proportions.
She added: “It is imperative that all nations unite to prevent such atrocities from occurring, and that the international community sends a strong message through the UN to perpetrators that they will be held accountable”.
Amb. Nkurunziza said that, contrary to claims by genocide deniers, the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda was not a spontaneous reaction to a singular provocative event, rather it was prepared for decades and execution was planned with brute precision with the purpose of exterminating of the Tutsi in Rwanda.
He further said that the commemoration period is time to honor the memory of mothers, fathers, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles, the in-laws and children whose lives were snapped up by the inhumanity of their fellow citizens but, more importantly, to comfort the hundreds of thousands of survivors.
He said: “We commemorate to affirm the truth of our history and to renew our commitment to building a better future. To do so enhances our unity as a nation.
“Most importantly, our truth silences Genocide deniers bent on peddling falsehoods to shield their culpability in the Genocide against the Tutsi. Truth is the moonlight in the dark night of their falsehoods. The glaring light of truth exposes Genocide deniers for what they are: an existentıal threat to our common humanity”.
Nkurunziza highlighted that this period reminds of the outstanding acts of courage and human sacrifice as well as the heroism of Rwanda’s sons and daughters who put their lives on the line to stop the Genocide that a disinterested world had allowed to fester and consume Rwanda and its people.
“Indeed, we are collectively inspired by the wisdom of our leaders, especially His Excellency Paul Kagame, who saw possibility where the world saw the improbable. He, and the young men and women who fought with him and gave their lives to stop the Genocide against the Tutsi, occupy a special place in our hearts”.
Apart from the official commemoration held Tuesday in Ankara, other commemorative activities will be conducted in different parts of Turkey, mostly in the form public lectures in universities.