The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Jean Ping, has reaffirmed solidarity with Rwandans.
Ping made the remarks during the 16th commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The event was jointly organized by the Department of Political Affairs of the AUC and the Rwandan Embassy.
According to a communiqué, Ping pointed out that he was talking with the voice of all African citizens when renewing their solidarity with the Rwandan people and also encouraged the Rwandans to embrace reconciliation.
“Those who will forget their past are condemned to live it again,” Ping quoted Winston Churchill, in his welcoming note as he recalled the importance of April 7, as a special day to remember the past atrocities.
Ping, underlined that in remembering the Genocide against the Tutsi, the AU is faithful to the objectives and principles of the constitutive act, notably the promotion and protection of the human and people’s rights as well as the respect of human life.
Joseph Nsengimana, Rwanda’s Ambassador in Ethiopia recalled the initiatives like Gacaca courts and the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) set up by Rwandans to “perpetuate the memory of innocent victims of this human barbarity.”
According to a communiqué from the embassy, two separate commemoration events were held – one organized by the AUC in collaboration with the embassy, as well as the Rwandan Community in Ethiopia and, another organized jointly by the Rwanda Community in Ethiopia and the embassy.
The AU Commission invited all diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited to Ethiopia.
The second event also held at the Headquarters of the AU Commission, was organized by Rwandans living in Ethiopia and the embassy.
The Ambassador stressed that Rwanda and its people have made huge efforts to overcome difficulties.
“This is why the Genocide against the Tutsi should be commemorated under the sign of hope. A hope in a better future for the survivors, a hope in a bright future for our country, where younger generations are united and reconciled,” reads part of the embassy report on the events.