As more than 150 people on Tuesday gathered at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, to remember victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Alain Ngirinshuti, Vice Chairman of Ibuka in France called for the establishment of a memorial site in Paris, the French capital.
The event was co-organised by the Rwandan embassy and UNESCO.
According to Ngirinshuti, a monument in memory of the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi should be raised in Paris to be inaugurated on the 20th anniversary.
“In support of this initiative, an open letter has been sent to President [Francois] Hollande,” reads a statement by the embassy received by The New Times.
The event was held in UNESCO’s auditorium in the presence of representatives of the French Government, permanent Delegates to UNESCO, Ambassadors accredited to France, NGOs, survivors associations, and members of the Rwandan community in France.
France hosts hundreds of suspected Genocide perpetrators. The last commemoration event at UNESCO was in 2004.
Lalla Aïcha Ben Barka, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Africa, noted that commemoration is a time of sorrow but also an opportunity for reflection.
David Hamadziripi, Zimbabwe’s envoy to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, who represented the Group of African Ambassadors in France, highlighted the issue of Genocide criminals still active abroad, in particular in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Pointing to the new department in charge of Genocide crimes and crimes against Humanity, Corinne Brunon-Meunier, Deputy Director for Eastern Africa at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, highlighted efforts by her government to improve the Justice system.
However, Rwanda’s envoy to France, Jacques Kabale, underscored the ‘disappointing process in France’ with regard to bring Genocide perpetrators to book.
In a related development, Ibuka-France organised a meeting in Champs de Mars, Paris, where over 250 people gathered at the Peace Wall, a monument facing the Tour Eiffel, in remembrance of their lost loved ones.Follow https://twitter.com/KarhangaJames