The African Development Bank and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire on Thursday pledged support to Rwanda and its people on their journey to recovery from the effects of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
In collaboration with the Rwandan Embassy in Abidjan, an event was hosted at the bank’s headquarters in Abidjan to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Genocide.
Participants paid tribute to the resilience of the Rwandan people and their determination to create a prosperous future.
In 1994, more than one million people were killed in three months in one of the deadliest massacres in human history.
“The bank stands with you, by you, and for you,” Oley Dibba-Wadda, the Director of Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development, said on behalf of the bank’s President.
AfDB stands with and will always be a partner to Rwanda, she said.
“It is not with heavy armoury but with the sheer force of the human spirit that we defeat evil.”
Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani, the Côte d’Ivoire Minister for Animal Resources, reiterated that his government stands with Rwanda during this difficult period.
The West African country sent a high-level delegation, led by Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, to Kigali for the main commemoration event last Sunday.
He noted that the 1994 Genocide was not an accident but the culmination of a divisive ideology driven by a regime that instituted discrimination, dehumanisation and crimes against one section of Rwandans.
The Ivorian minister added: “The Genocide against the Tutsi was planned, designed and executed in broad daylight under the indifferent gaze of the international community. What happened in Rwanda in 1994 should challenge universal conscience.”
“Today’s commemoration reminds us of our individual and collective responsibility to work tirelessly to uphold the values of life and humanism in our societies. It is crucial to inform the African youth, who make up the majority of the population of our continent, of the root causes and process of the ideology of genocide.”
The ideology of genocide is accompanied by a propaganda orchestrated by the powerful, he said.
Launched challenge of rebirth
At the ceremony, Amb. Stanislas Kamanzi, Rwanda’s envoy to Côte d’Ivoire, said that in its process of national reconstruction, Rwanda deliberately made enormous efforts, including the acquisition of necessary human and material resources, allowing it to be part of international peacekeeping missions.
Kamanzi said: “It is with a sense of pride that I want to share with you that the sacrifice of the victims to whom we pay tribute today will not have been in vain. While we mourned their unexpected loss, we did not let ourselves be defeated by despair. Rwanda has instead launched a challenge of rebirth.”
“Rwanda has opted for reconciliation with its history and has developed strong aspirations to become a true nation driven by the united forces of its sons and daughters, determined to build an inclusive, fair, dignified and prosperous society.”