The Speaker of the Kenyan senate, Ekwee Ethuro, yesterday, joined the Rwandan community in Kenya and friends of Rwanda to mark the 22nd commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
The event, that attracted hundreds of Rwandans living in Kenya, took place at the United Nations offices Gigiri in the capital Nairobi, where Ethuro also commended the resilience of Rwandans to rise above their dark history to take their country where it is today, within just 22 years.
“Rwanda today has registered phenomenal progress. It has raised the bar in various areas and serves as a benchmark for steady growth, ease of doing business and cleanliness as those of you who have visited the beautiful land of a thousand hills will attest to. Life Expectancy has doubled to over 60 years, it has posted economic growth rate of around 8% and infant mortality has significantly dropped from 230/1000 live births to 55, to mention but a few vital statistics,” he said.
Ethuro also commended Rwanda for its efforts to pacify the African continent.
“At regional and multilateral levels, we commend Rwanda’s commitment to maintenance of international peace and security through her contributions to peacekeeping missions in Africa and beyond,” he said.
During his speech, the Rwandan High Commissioner to Kenya, James Kimonyo, challenged the international community to not misinterpret the events that occurred in Rwanda in 1994, saying that it was wrong to call the genocide a ‘Genocide of Rwanda’ or the ‘Rwandan Genocide’.
“What happened was a “Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda”, he told the gathering that also included other Kenyan government officials and members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Kenya.
He said that as per the International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, a genocide means any of the acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group and this is exactly what happened to Tutsi in Rwanda in the year 1994.
Kimonyo commended President Paul Kagame and the Rwanda Patriotic Front for singlehandedly leading the revolution to restore order in Rwanda.
“When genocide occurs there is a tendency to blame the victim by people suggesting the victims also killed,” he added, urging member states of the UN to move with speed to have that specific recognition of Tutsi as the victims of the Genocide.