German officials join in commemoration activities

German officials, on Thursday, joined Rwandans to observe the 21st Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi. The event that involved a commemoration service was organised by the Rwandan embassy in Berlin.
Amb. Nkulikiyinka speaks at the memorial event in Berlin. (Courtesy)
Amb. Nkulikiyinka speaks at the memorial event in Berlin. (Courtesy)

German officials, on Thursday, joined Rwandans to observe the 21st Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

The event that involved a commemoration service was organised by the Rwandan embassy in Berlin.

The service was attended by representatives of the Federal Government, members of the diplomatic corps, friends of Rwanda, as well as members of the Rwandan community.

Rwanda’s outgoing ambassador to Germany, Christine Nkulikiyinka, thanked the participants for joining Rwandans in remembering the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

“Let us pray for the deceased today, remember them and give them honour, and thus lend human dignity to the many innocent people who were so brutally murdered,”  said Nkurikiyinka, who was recently posted to Stockholm as ambassador.

The envoy stressed that Genocide denial is a reality that needs to be fought with joint efforts. It should not be regarded as a task for Rwandans alone.

“It is the responsibility of us all to combat this propaganda decisively. If we do not, we pave in the long term, though passive, the way for another genocide,” Nkulikiyinka said.

The commemoration service was accompanied by musical performance by German and Rwandan youths.

Rhineland-Palatinate in solidarity

The Berlin event followed another commemoration event on Tuesday in Kaiserslautern, where Rwandan students organised a commemoration service, the screening of a documentary film and a discussion on the role of the international community during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Among guests were Günter Kern, state secretary in the Rhineland-Palatinate ministry of sports, internal affairs and infrastructure; Dr Richard Auernheimer, president of the Partnership Association Rwanda/Rhineland-Palatinate; and Prof Dr Helmut J. Schmidt, president of the University of Kaiserslautern.

Kern and Dr Auernheimer both expressed their solidarity with Rwandans during the national mourning and agreed that the international community still carries responsibility for protecting citizens against violence and atrocities as they occurred during the Genocide against the Tutsi.

Speaking on behalf of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate, Kern announced that his government would continue to accompany Rwanda on its exemplary journey of reconciliation and progress.

Amb. Nkulikiyinka thanked the residents of Rhineland-Palatinate for their continued support in remembrance and fighting of Genocide denial.

Kaiserslautern is home to more than 80 Rwandan students. For the last 32 years, Rwanda and Rhineland-Palatinate have maintained a strong partnership in culture and education.

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