Hundreds of Rwandans in India on Monday came together to mark the 20th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The function took place at India’s International Centre in New Delhi.
Speaking at the event, Rwanda’s High Commissioner to India, Ernest Rwamucyo, urged commemorators to always speak out in the face of genocide.
“We have every reason to rebuke the international community for failure to take action, thereby abandoning innocent civilians to their killers. Rwanda will continue to take a clear stand in the fight against genocide ideology, anti-semitism, hatred, bigotry and any other form of discrimination,” said Rwamucyo.
Rwamucyo emphasised the importance of remembrance as the only way to honour the dead and comfort the survivors, while taking the nation through a process of reflection and healing.
He highlighted the tremendous progress Rwanda has made in building a stable, prosperous and equitable country.
The event also involved receiving of the Remembrance Flame on its return to New Delhi.
The Flame, which was lit on January 31, 2014 at the launch of Kwibuka20 in India, travelled through New Delhi to Indian cities of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh; where Genocide commemoration events were held over the last two months.
Vinay Kumar, India’s Joint Secretary for Eastern and Southern Africa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expressed solidarity with Rwanda and the Rwandan people.
“I admire the resilience and commitment of the Rwandan people to rebuild their country and promote national unity and reconciliation irrespective of the terrible legacy of genocide. The progress Rwanda has made, from being almost a failed state to becoming a model nation, is amazing,” Kumar said.
Rwandan students performed solemn songs in honour and memory of the dead and the survivors.
Rwandans were joined at the commemoration by members of the diplomatic corps, officials of the Government of India, Ambassador of Ethiopia, Gennet Zewide, as well as clerics and friends of Rwanda from across India.