Toronto devotes April 7 to reflection on Genocide

The canadian city of Toronto has dedicated April 7 for marking the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Relatives of victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi look at the pictures of their departed ones at Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. The New Times/ J. Mbanda.
Relatives of victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi look at the pictures of their departed ones at Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. The New Times/ J. Mbanda.

The canadian city of Toronto has dedicated April 7 for marking the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

This follows decisions of the UN General Assembly, guided by the Charter of the UN and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that recognises the 19th anniversary of the Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda, a statement from the Toronto mayor’s office said.

“I, Mayor Rob Ford, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim April 7 as “Day of Reflection on the Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda” in remembrance of the suffering of the victims and the courage of the survivors,” reads part of the statement.

The statement added that it is an opportunity to remember the lasting impact of genocide and other crimes against humanity, and to bolster steps to prevent such atrocities from ever happening again.

The UN has encouraged all its member states and organisations around the world to observe this day in memory of victims of Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda.

A world-free genocide

Last year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said preventing genocide is a collective obligation and that the world must continue working together to ensure a future forever free of genocide.

Reacting to the development, John Ruku-Rwabyoma, Rwandese Canadian Association of Greater Toronto expressed his gratitude to the development, saying that for the first time Toronto raised the Rwandan Flag at half-mast on April 7.

“The City of Toronto for the first time had our Rwandan flag at a half-mast, a gesture that was only reserved for Canadian political personalities, fallen soldiers and the British Royal Family members. So, to see our victims remembered at that level is a great gesture from this multicultural city,” Ruku-Rwabyoma said via e-mail to The New Times.

“We not only remember our loved ones, but also stand on guard to make sure that the genocide deniers and perpetrators  should not be in this peace loving country. We should hunt them down and make sure that they are handed over to appropriate jurisdiction,” he added.

Toronto is scheduled to hold the official 19th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi on Saturday. The occassion will be attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo.

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