The Rwandan community in Sudan on Thursday gathered in El-Fasher to welcome the Kwibuka Flame which continues its international tour ahead of the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The event is one the official activities that will culminate into the commemoration week, according to a statement signed by the chairman of the Rwandan Diaspora, Sulaiman Kalisa.
Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Joint Special Representative (JSR) of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (Unamid), commended Rwanda for a successful reconstruction journey, which he said has helped lift the country from the ashes of the 1994 Genocide.
Chambas said Rwanda has overcome the challenges brought about by the Genocide to achieve stability, unity, prosperity and democratic governance.
“Let us give this commemoration a positive meaning of resilience, forgiveness, reconciliation and unity, not only in Rwanda, but across Africa,” the statement quotes Chambas as saying.
The Rwandan Charge d’affaires in Sudan, Shyaka K Ismail, said Rwanda experienced tough and challenging times during and after the Genocide but noted that the country has registered impressive progress over the past 20 years.
“The focus now is on eradicating poverty through entrepreneurship and education,” Shyaka said.
He said the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was preventable but that the international community looked on as the victims were brutally hacked to death.
“We believe no country should suffer the same fate and that no lives should be lost due to indifference and inaction by global actors,” Shyaka said.
Rwanda is among the top six troop contributing countries to UN peacekeeping missions in the world.
“Together we can create a future free from genocide,” he observed.
Brig. Gen. Norbert Kalimba, the Unamid Force Chief of Staff, said Genocide is part of Rwanda’s history that cannot be erased.
“We are bound to our history, with honest and compassionate reflection that we will not repeat similar mistakes. In fact, it is in remembrance that we find seeds of renewal,” Gen. Kalimba said.
The event brought together about 500 people.
Present were the representatives of all Unamid contingents in Darfur and the Sudanese nationals working for Unamid, as well as Rwandan peacekeepers and the Rwandan community in El-Fasher, Sudan.