The Speaker of the Parliament of Sweden, Andreas Norlén, on Wednesday warned the international community that atrocities such as the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi could happen anywhere if appropriate lessons were not taken from Rwanda.
Norlén is a Swedish Moderate Party politician who has served as Speaker of the Riksdag, the national legislature and the supreme decision-making body of Sweden, since September 2018.
“If the veneer of civilization can crack in [Rwanda], it can also crack here. Individuals who perpetrated the genocide were people like us’, Norlén said at the commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Stockholm.
The ceremony in the capital of Sweden was preceded by a Walk to Remember attended by hundreds led by the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström and Ambassador, and Rwanda’s envoy there, Christine Nkulikiyinka.
Speaking at the commemoration ceremony, Wallström castigated the failure of the international community during the 1994 Genocide.
“Long before 1994, the international community pledged ‘Never Again’ but the international community stood by as the genocide against the Tutsi happened,” Wallström said.
Rwanda’s envoy to the Nordic Countries, Nkulikiyinka, warned against denial and trivialization of the Genocide against the Tutsi. She said that such practices, coupled with indifference, were not only a threat to Rwanda but to all societies across the world.
“We should all recognize that one of the biggest social problems of our times is the existence of politics that seek to divide people along ethnic, racial, or religious lines and justify the inhumane and unjust treatment of others due to biological, social or cultural characteristics,” she said.
The commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi and the walk to remember in Stockholm on Wednesday were organized by the Rwandan Embassy. Later on Sunday, there was also a commemoration and walk to remember co-organised with the Rwandan community in Sweden.
Several other commemoration events are scheduled this month in cities across the Nordics.