Kwibuka20: Germany joins Rwandans in remembrance

There is need for collective fight against Genocide deniers to give meaning to the vow ‘Never Again’, Rwanda’s envoy to Germany said.

There is need for collective fight against Genocide deniers to give meaning to the vow ‘Never Again’, Rwanda’s envoy to Germany said.

Amb Christine Nkulikiyinka made the remarks on Thursday during the launch of the 20th Genocide commemoration activities in Berlin.

The event was hosted by the Rwandan embassy in Germany in cooperation with the German Africa Foundation.

More than 200 people attended the event at the Federal Parliament premises.

At the function, Rwandans were joined by German politicians, MPs, representatives of the federal and local government, diplomats,  friends of Rwanda and the German-Jewish community.

The event, moderated by ZDF (German public broadcaster)’s Andreas Huppert, was opened with a short film; “Remember, unite, renew”.  

A musical performance throughout the evening by three professional singers of the rabbinical school, Abraham Geiger College, framed the event, which was preceded by a minute of silence in respect of the Genocide victims.

Ambassador Nkulikiyinka stressed the importance of “Kwibuka” in honouring the Genocide victims and fostering reconciliation among Rwandans.

 “The Genocide which occurred in Rwanda claiming more than 1 million innocent lives ought not to be solely considered a Rwandan problem,” she said, noting that lessons drawn from the tragedy were of international dimension.

The prevention of genocides, she said, was an international duty as was the need to invest in preventive measures.

“The term “Never Again” is well known in Germany.  Genocides should  never occur in the world again,” Nkulikiyinka said.

Recalling the German experience, she called for a united front against genocide deniers anywhere.

The Vice President of the Germany Federal Parliament, Ulla Schmidt, who was the chief mourner commended Rwandans for not shying away from confronting their dark past.

She also hailed Rwanda’s progress over the past 20 years, despite the challenges. Schmidt hailed Rwanda’s  contribution towards peace-keeping missions across the continent.

During the event, testimony of a Genocide survivor, with a German husband, was heard.  Jacqueline Blam shared her  memory of the tragic events in 1994.She said the majority of her close and extended family were killed during the Genocide. She called upon everyone to live in peace with their neighbours and asked politicians to serve and protect those citizens.                   

 

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