TOKYO - The Embassy of Rwanda in Japan, last week, joined the world to honour victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.The 17th commemoration was preceded by a prayer for Genocide survivors and victims of the Tohoku Pacific Earthquake and Tsunami that hit Japan last month.
Speaking at the ceremony, Benedicto Nshimiyimana, the Chargé d’Affaires at the embassy in Japan, said Rwandans under the able leadership of President Paul Kagame, have refused to be held prisoners of the past and instead forged a path to a bright future.
“The reconciliation process has registered impressive results, impunity that was the rule of the day was uprooted, transparency and fair systems were established and this has resulted into economic development of the country, “he added.
Nshimiyimana emphasised that the truth about the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi should be preserved and that countries should enact laws to punish Genocide deniers.
He petitioned the International Community to stop being safe havens for Genocide suspects, and instead bring them to justice.
Shiro Otsu, a freelance journalist, who specialises in African conflicts, shared the experience of his visit to Nyarubuye and Murambi Genocide Memorial sites. He also echoed the testimonies he heard from some Genocide survivors, who spoke of the brutality and horrors they suffered.
Natsui Yuki, a graduate student at the Law School of Tokyo University, who led a delegation of 15-student on a two-week tour of Rwanda, in March this year, explained how Rwanda was a country filled with hope, opportunities and dynamism.
During the event, a documentary titled “Journey to hell”, screened: Ms. SHO Satoko, a Japanese professional Soprano musician, sung several solemn songs including a hit called “You Raise Me Up”, dedicating it to Rwandans, while encouraging them to rise up above challenges they face.
The event was attended by several African diplomats, members of the civil society, Rwandans living in Tokyo and friends of Rwanda.