Rwandan police, military and Correctional Service peacekeepers across the world, yesterday, joined the rest of Rwandans to mark the 25th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The peacekeepers in Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan, Darfur, Haiti and Abyei were joined by senior government and top UN officials in host countries, fellow peacekeepers, Rwandans living in those countries as well as clerics and local residents to pay tribute to Genocide victims.
Wreaths were laid, flames of remembrance lit and a minute of silence observed across all missions in honour of the more than one million innocent lives slaughtered 25 years ego.
In CAR, the activities to remember, held at the Rwandan military peacekeepers’ base in the capital Bangui, were presided over by the Prime Minister of CAR, Firmin Ngrebada.
Present was also the Special Representative of the Secretary General to the UN mission in CAR, Mankeur Ndiaye; the vice President of CAR Parliament Symphorien Mapenzi; Joint Force Commander, Gen. Balla Keita, and the Police Commissioner, Gen. Pascal Champion
The Prime Minister paid respect to the victims and thanked the “men and women whose sacrifices stopped the Genocide.”
“We stand here today to remember those innocent lives killed, comfort survivors and the Rwandan community in general. This happened as the whole world watched, I thank President Paul Kagame and those that were under his command for putting their lives on the line to stop the Genocide and to save lives,” Ngrebada said
He added: “We recognise the journey of unity and reconciliation Rwandans have taken, a key factor in the country’s overall transformation process; the development and the well-being of Rwandans tells the story.”
The SRSG, Mankeur Ndiaye, observed that, “we can’t forget the failure of the UN in Rwanda, to protect more than one million innocent people.”
At the commemoration in Malakal, Upper Nile region, the UN Head of Field office (HOFO) Mme Hazel Dewet, delivered a message of condolence to Genocide survivors.
The commemoration activities here were also characterised by a ‘Walk to Remember’, testimonies of survivors, and words of encouragement.