Rwandans and friends of Rwanda in Israel on Saturday marked the 23rd Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Under this year’s commemoration themed, ‘Remember the Genocide against the Tutsi, Fight Genocide Ideology, Build on Our Progress’, the event was organised at the Massuah International Institute of Holocaust Studies.
The event began by observing a moment of silence and prayer and was marked with a testimony by Suzanne Nkurikiyumukiza, a survivor of the Genocide against the Tutsi, and Prof. Daniel Gold, a Holocaust survivor.
In his remarks, Ambassador Yoram Elron, the Director General of Africa Division at the Isreali Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the audience that there is much in common between Rwanda and Israel. ‘‘Two peoples that are linked together by an unbreakable bond of suffering, that have persevered despite the pain and horror of the past; two small countries in size, facing numerous external challenges, that have yet managed to build a modern and developed country which serves as a model for progress,’’ he said.
In his address, Amb. Joseph Rutabana the Rwandan envoy to Israel, said the period of commemoration, it is an occasion to remember the lives that were lost, show solidarity with survivors and unite to ensure genocide never happens again in Rwanda or anywhere else.
Rwanda today offers a story of hope; how a country and its people can stand strong in the face of adversity and together build a new and united society and restore the nation’s spirit, he said, adding that it is also a chance to learn about Rwanda’s story of reconciliation and nation building.
He expressed hope that the international community drew lessons from its inaction during the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and asked that proper mechanisms be put in place to detect and prevent any other similar situation anywhere before calamities of such magnitude are committed.
Amb. Rutabana later led the audience to the lighting of candles in remembrance of the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi.