WASHINGTON - Rwandans in the United States were last week joined by African diplomats at the Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda in Washington D.C to mark the 15th commemoration of 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
According to a press statement, the commemoration was co-sponsored by Congressman Donald Payne.
Theodros Dagne who spoke on behalf Payne said that nothing was done when Payne sounded an alarming bell that Genocide was being committed in Rwanda.
He noted that the victims are not only those who died but also those who survived and have still not abandoned or rejected those orphans.
He underscored that remembering “our” failures in Rwanda should be a lesson to respond to what is taking place in Darfur.
“I commend the current leadership of Rwanda which has restored peace and stability and embarking on recovery,” Dagne said.
He challenged the US Government for not acting swiftly to extradite those responsible for the mass murders and FDLR leaders living in the country yet they are wanted by the Rwandan justice.
The African Union Permanent Representative at the United States, Amina Salum Ali called upon African leaders to embark on self recommitment to ensure that such tragedies do not happen again.
She noted that tragedy was a wake up call for them to provide modest leadership by applying African solutions to African problems.
“If African leaders don’t embrace good governance and lead good politics, what happened in Rwanda 15 years ago can be repeated elsewhere,” she warned.
She also commended the people of Rwanda for recognizing the importance of reconciliation and expressed AU’s strong support to the recently concluded Umoja Wetu operation.
In his remarks Rwanda’s Ambassador to the US James Kimonyo thanked all the participants for joining the Rwandan community to reflect on the day of mourning and remembrance.
He pointed out that the International Community and in particular the United Nations failed Rwandans in 1994 and paid tribute to the heroic acts of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) which stopped Genocide and restored hope to the country.
“You should all stand firm and say never again as you strongly denounce the deniers of the 1994 Tutsi Genocide who have consistently attempted to minimize the scale of terror they unleashed in a struggle to avert justice,” said Kimonyo.
Speaking on behalf Hillary Rodham Clinton, the US Secretary of State, Ambassador Philippe Carter III paid tribute to the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis and pointed out that the ongoing insecurity in the region is the failure of the international community to prevent Genocide from happening 15 years ago.
He praised the current Government of Rwanda for repatriating and resettling the refugees, revitalizing the economy by investing in the people and moving forward with healing and reconciliation.
He revealed that Rwanda being the 6th biggest UN Peace keeping force contributor, has greatly contributed in bringing peace to Darfur and reaffirmed US government’s commitment to continue partnering with Rwanda.
“Today, as we memorialize the victims of the Genocide, we commit ourselves through our diplomacy, our development, and our private and public efforts to protect human rights and dignity of all,” Philippe said.