Call for joint efforts to fight discrimination

As Rwandans and friends of Rwanda commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, a Rwandan diplomat says that the world must stand together to fight racism, bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia and all other forms of discrimination.
Mourners pay respect at the UN office in Nairobi.SaturdayTimes/Courtsey .
Mourners pay respect at the UN office in Nairobi.SaturdayTimes/Courtsey .

As Rwandans and friends of Rwanda commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, a Rwandan diplomat says that the world must stand together to fight racism, bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia and all other forms of discrimination.

Yamina Karitanyi, Rwanda’s High Commissioner in Kenya, said this on Thursday during a commemoration event organised by the United Nations office in Nairobi, in collaboration with the Rwanda High Commission.

Karinya said: “Chances are that the Genocide against the Tutsi did not affect many present here [in Nairobi] today or their families, but it is our collective responsibility to make sure that the events of 1994 never happen anywhere, ever again.”

 “Just as Rwandans stand together to honour the lives of our loved ones, the world must stand together to fight racism, bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination. We must stand against all those who wish to divide communities.”

Karitanyi told the gathering at the UN office in Nairobi that commemoration activities are necessary as, each year, “all of us learn” a thing or two about the Genocide, how and why it was conducted, its consequences, and prevention mechanisms put in place to steer clear of anything that make Rwanda rift back into a culture of hatred, divisionism, and negationism.

“It is important that every so often, we pause and focus on what needs to be emphasised to the youth for them to take an active role in combating genocide ideology and hatred among communities.”

“As we pause and remember, she said, it is also important to continue searching for ways to find needed strength from within to work for the bright future that Rwandans deserve.

“It is crucial to remind ourselves that a people united are capable to achieve so much as a nation.”

Among others, Dr. Wandja Njoya, a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Language and Performing Arts at Daystar University, in Nairobi, who is an active participant in forums dealing with genocide prevention, and Sahle Work Zewde, Director General of the UN office in Nairobi, attended the event.

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