United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Monday said that survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi have showed to the world that reconciliation is possible.
He was speaking in New York as the UN General Assembly commemorated the international day of reflection on the 1994 Genocide.
“In remembering the victims, we should all be inspired by the survivors’ courage. They have showed that reconciliation is possible, even after such appalling crimes,” he said.
“The history of Rwanda teaches us an essential lesson. While the capacity for the deepest evil resides in all societies, so too do the qualities of understanding, generosity and reconciliation.”
Genocide is not a single event, he explained, but a process that takes time and preparation.
The Secretary-General said that one of the key warning signs of genocide is the spread of hate speech in public discourse and the media.
“History has repeatedly shown that no region of the world is immune. I have visited the genocide memorials at Auschwitz, Kigali, Phnom Penh and Srebrenica. After each atrocity, the world has been united in horror. Never again, we said, each time. Never again, we keep on saying.
“But every day, around the world, men, women and children continue to be killed, raped, displaced and discriminated against on the basis of their identity. And every day, the seeds of future massacres and genocides are being planted.”
The only way to prevent genocide and other egregious violations of human rights, he said, is to acknowledge shared responsibility and commit to shared action to protect those at risk.
Ban said it is essential that Governments, the judiciary and civil society stand firm against hate speech and those who incite division and violence.
The event featured testimonies from two young Rwandans; Nelly Mukazayire and Frida Umuhoza who both thanked the current government in Rwanda for the reconstruction journey and the opportunity it has afforded to all Rwandans.Follow https://twitter.com/KarhangaJames