The Rwandan community; friends of Rwanda; members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of international organizations based in Geneva; met on April 10 at the headquarters of the UN Office in Geneva to mark the International Day of the Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
According to a statement by the Rwandan embassy in Geneva, a message by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was read by Michael Møller, Director General of the UN Office in Geneva.
All speakers at the event elaborated the obligation by the international community to pay tribute to the innocent victims who were brutally murdered during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and expressed solidarity with the survivors.
They stressed the importance for the world to learn from the Genocide against the Tutsi and put in place effective and collective measures to prevent anything like it and other atrocities from happening again.
Dr. François Xavier Ngarambe; Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the UN Office in Geneva elaborated on how the memory of Genocide informs Rwanda’s reconstruction and development. He made strong appeal to fight genocide denial and ensure that genocide perpetrators and accomplices are brought to justice.
He further urged all states that shelter suspects of the Genocide against the Tutsi to either prosecute them or extradite them to Rwanda.
“Only way to prevent genocide and other atrocities is to never forget to learn from history, to acknowledge shared responsibility and commit to collectively act to protect those at risk,” underlined Michael Møller, Director General of the UN Office in Geneva.
The president of Ibuka Suisse, Cesar Murangira expressed his concerns over the ineffectiveness of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, especially the series of rulings by Judge Theodor Meron to reduce the penalties and release some of the convicted genocidaires.
He also spoke about the lack of compensation provisions for the victims of the genocide against the Tutsi and appealed to the International Community to take urgent action on that issue.
Réverien Rurangwa, who survived the Genocide with immense physical and Psychological wounds, shared his moving testimony on how he survived the Genocide which took the lives of his entire family.
He stated that; “coping with the physical and psychological sequelae of my wounds, and telling my story, are my major reasons to live.”
As it is a tradition in Switzerland, the International Day of the Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda was preceded by the 7th April 2018 commemoration event co-organized by the Embassy of Rwanda and Ibuka Suisse.