Rwandan peacekeepers serving under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Juba and Malakal, together with the Rwandan Community in the country, were on April 7 joined by their South Sudanese friends, Government officials, and UN officials to mark the 21st commemoration of Genocide against the Tutsi.
The commemoration event was held at Juba Tomping Camp where Rwandan Contingent Commander Lt. Col. John Muvunyi said that the presence of friends at the commemoration ceremony was a sign of solidarity with Rwandans.
The South Sudanese minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Dr. Barnaba Benjin Marial, while presiding over the function, said there were lessons to be drawn from Rwanda by his country.
He commended the Rwandan peacekeepers for the “good work” they are doing in South Sudan.
The UNMISS Special Representative of UN Secretary General, Ellen Margret Loej, paid tribute to the over one million victims of the Genocide, saying that the UN failed them.
She praised Rwanda’s homegrown solutions such as Gacaca that promoted justice and reconciliation among Rwandans in the aftermath of the Genocide.
The leader of the Rwandan community in South Sudan, James Kayonde, said that ethnic divisions followed by dehumanisation of Tutsi were promoted by the colonialists and bad leadership in Rwanda.
He said the Genocide was systematically prepared and executed with such ferocity that within just three months, over one million people had been exterminated.
He said that 21 years after the Genocide, Rwanda has transformed itself and the people have hope for a better future.