EDITORIAL: Historical-clarity critical in efforts to prevent mass atrocities

The United Nations General Assembly, on Friday, unanimously adopted a decision on the ‘International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda’, which corrected inaccuracies in an earlier resolution that omitted the word ‘Tutsi’.

The United Nations General Assembly, on Friday, unanimously adopted a decision on the ‘International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda’, which corrected inaccuracies in an earlier resolution that omitted the word ‘Tutsi’.

By not mentioning ‘Tutsi’ as the people targeted for extermination by the genocidal regime, the previous resolution, A/RES/58/234, inadvertently or otherwise upheld the same ambiguity that is deliberately promoted by genocidaires and their supporters all over the world.  

The ambiguous reference to what happened in Rwanda in 1994 by different people around the world is directly linked to denial and revisionist tendencies fuelled by those behind the Genocide desperate to deflect the attention from their responsibility in the most heinous crime.

Therefore, by setting the record straight and implicitly disassociate itself from denial and revisionism of the Genocide against the Tutsi, the United Nations did not only do the right thing, it also honoured the over a million children, women and men whose lives were brutally brought to an end in the most inhumane circumstances – all because of how they were born!

Friday’s decision may do little to comfort those who lost their loved ones at the hands of a government-engineered genocide machinery but it is a rebuke to anyone bent on revising Rwanda’s tragic history and those who have shamelessly – but vainly – attempted to turn the victims into villains and absolving the perpetrators.

The latest move by the United Nations should also spur all nations to stand up for the truth anywhere in the world, especially in places where communities are under the threat of extermination, and recommit to the ‘never again’ pledge. 

It’s also a reminder that all nations around the around need to spring into action to help bring perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and other crimes against humanity around the world to account.

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