NAIROBI - Rwanda’s High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya,in conjunction with the UN, yesterday, joined the rest of the World in marking the 17th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.The ceremony was held at the embassy’s premises in Gigiri, Nairobi.
Rwanda’s High Commissioner, George William Kayonga, said that the event was a time to reflect and ensure that the legacy of Genocide is marked with dignity.
“Rwandans are resilient people and have embarked on a journey that ensures that they are educated, have a permanent roof over their heads, are food secure, have universal access to health, and participate in the determination of their affairs,” he observed.
Kayonga noted that this year’s theme, “Upholding the Truth: Preserving Our Dignity” is befitting since truth frees the nation and enables all Rwandans to live and work together with dignity.
“For the survivors, dignity comes when their stories and experiences are expressed and believed. Telling the truth honours the victims and the survivors, while at the same time exposing those who attempt to negate and revise the Genocide against the Tutsi,” he explained.
The envoy pointed out that no effort has been spared by the government in addressing the challenges faced by the survivors.
He added that unity and reconciliation programmes are given the due attention they deserve in terms of resource allocation.
Prof. George Saitoti, Kenya’s acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that the commemoration period is a time to remember that the Genocide was not only the lowest point in the dark history, but also an indelible bad mark on human dignity, not only for Rwanda, but Africa as a whole.
“The events that took place in 1994 are still fresh in our minds, and for us in East Africa and the Great Lakes Regions in particular, we recall these events with shame and regret,” he added.
Saitoti noted that Kenya joins the international community to commend the major economic and socio political transformation in Rwanda.
“Preventing Genocide is a collective and individual responsibility. Rwanda’s survivors have made us confront the ugly reality of a preventable tragedy, and the only way to truly honour the memory of those who perished, is to ensure that such events can never occur again,” he remarked.
This year is the first time the Rwanda High Commission has partnered with the United Nations (UN) to commemorate the Genocide.
The event was attended by UN officials, diplomats, several Kenya government officials and the Rwandan community in Kenya.