The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumenm, this week paid tribute to Rwandans for having overcome the tragedy of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and managed to rebuild their nation.
She made the remarks during commemorations to mark the 20th anniversary of the Genocide at a ceremony held at The Hague.
“Western leaders were fully aware of the horror. Calls came for an intervention. On 6 May 1994, the UN Security Council called for Unamir, the handful of UN soldiers left in Kigali, to be expanded to 5,500 troops to stop the Genocide,” Ploumenm said.
“Not one country heeded the call from the Security Council. As a result, the whole world shares responsibility for the tragedy. My own country is no exception,”she added.
Ploumenm said that despite the challenges, Rwanda chose to rebuild the country and tackle the deep divisions of the Genocide.
“Today, 20 years later, a new generation of Rwandans has grown up in peace and security. For them, a new chapter is being written with the most recent campaign called NdiUmunyarwanda, or ‘I am Rwandan’,” the minister said.
“I want to pay tribute to the people of Rwanda for what they have achieved in the last 20 years. Against all the odds, they have managed to give themselves a future once again”.
Read the full speech here