Delegates and participants attending the United Nations Post-Conflict Peace building Conference yesterday visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial centre at Gisozi to pay tribute to victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Those that went to the memorial included ministerial entourages from Guinea Bissau and Guinea as well as religious leaders from the two West African nations.
A delegation of United Nations African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) led by the Joint Representative, Gen. Ibrahim Gambari, and Force Commander Lt. Gen Patrick Nyamvumba, also paid tribute to the remains of over 250,000 victims buried there.
Speaking to the press after laying a wreath on the mass graves, Gen. Gambari said that the memorial centre serves as a reminder to the international community that what happened in Rwanda should never happen anywhere else again.
“The centre reflects the tragedy that happened in Rwanda after it was abandoned by the world. When the international community says Never Again, it should mean it” he said.
“One of the good things that came out of this tragedy, is that Rwanda, which was let down by the United Nations and the world, is now fighting to save the people of Darfur by contributing thousands of troops, and the Force Commander is no less but Rwandese, Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba.”
The Nigerian General noted that Rwanda’s recovery from the horrendous Genocide has been impressive and it has a lot to offer in terms of peace and security. He called on African countries to heed to the message of Never Again.
Speaking to The New Times, Liberata Mulamula, the Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), said the 1994 Genocide that devastated the country and the progress and recovery of the last 17 years suits the theme of the meeting in Kigali.
“The message is Never Again. What we see here strengthens our resolve to continue saying never again and the progress Rwanda has registered encourages us to continue working hard so that such things never happen again.
The two-day high-level conference jointly organised by the government, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the UN, also brought together several Heads of State and top government officials from Africa and beyond, including 10 members of the UN Peace Building Commission (PBC) as well as four countries emerging from conflict.
Rwanda, which is the current chair of the PBC, whose chairmanship is rotated on a continental basis, is expected to share its experience for the last 17 years.
Rwanda pledged to use its one year tenure to share lessons with other countries emerging from conflict.