Rwandans in Diaspora committed to fostering forgiveness, peace and reconciliation during events to mark the 21st anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi on Tuesday.
From China, India and the Americas, Europe, and across Africa, commemoration events will be organised through the next 100 days.
Rwanda’s High Commissioner to South Africa Vincent Karega joined over 200 Rwandans and friends of Rwanda at a commemoration event held at the Redhill School in Johannesburg.
During the event, organised by the High Commission in partnership with the Johannesburg Holocaust Centre, Karega urged Rwandans to “stay committed to the cause of rebuilding a new nation of forgiveness, peace and reconciliation.”
Similar events in South Africa are scheduled to take place in Cape Town and Durban, and in neighbouring Botswana, between now and May.
In Tokyo, nearly 100 people, including top Japanese government officials gathered at the United Nations University (UNU) to mark the 21st anniversary of the Genocide.
The Government of Japan was represented by Kazuyuki Nakane, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs; and Diashiro Yamagiwa, State Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry.
Dr Charles Murigande, the Rwandan ambassador to Japan, said commemoration aims at defending “the truth which is continually under attack by Genocide deniers.”
He said remembering helps to constantly celebrate the incredible resilience and determination Rwandans have shown in rebuilding their lives and country.
Minister Kazuyuki commended the determination of Rwandans to overcome their tragic past and rebuild their nation.
Alluding to Rwanda’s deployment of more than 5,000 troops to UN peacekeeping operations around the world, making it the fifth largest troop contributor in the world, he lauded Rwanda’s contribution to global peace building and stability.
Rwandans in China were joined by representatives of the Chinese government and friends of Rwanda to commemorate the Genocide.
Rwanda’s envoy to China Charles Kayonga said those who committed the Genocide and their sympathisers have for the last 21 years wedged a campaign to deny and revise the Genocide with no success.
He said Genocide denial and revisionism will be defeated the same way the Genocide was stopped.
Madagascar ambassador to China Victor Sikonina, who is the Dean of African Diplomats in Beijing, condemned the perpetrators of the Genocide and applauded the current leadership of Rwanda for fighting Genocide ideology and restoring unity in the country.
Meanwhile, in Washington, over 300 people including Amb. Stephen Rapp, the United States Ambassador for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice, joined Rwandans there to mark the 21st Genocide anniversary.
Rwanda’s envoy to the USA Amb. Mathilde Mukantabana, told the congregation that Rwandans defied the odds and wrote a new chapter of unity and prosperity.