OXFORD - The Rwandan Diaspora in Oxford, with the help of their colleagues from the West Midlands and Reading, organized a commemoration event in Oxford which brought together over 200 Rwandans.
The event which took place at the Nuffield Club on Saturday was also attended by several dignitaries including the Lord Mayor of Oxford, Susanna Pressel and Ambassador Claver Gatete.
All the speakers vowed that they will always remember those innocent Rwandans in order to ensure that what happened never happens again in future.
In her statement, Pressel said that she was happy that Rwandans have decided to move on despite this tragic past. She further said that reconciliation which the Rwandan Government has emphasized is the best way forward and added that ‘revenge can never bring back your loved ones’.
She said that there is need for forgiveness but warned that this should never mean that those innocent lives that were lost should ever be forgotten. She finally invited all Rwandans resident in Oxford for the holocaust commemoration in January 2010 which will be hosted by the city.
Ambassador Gatete said that the government of Rwanda has put measures in place to ensure that Genocide never happens again but also where all Rwandans benefit and hence promoting reconciliation.
These measures include: law against the Genocide ideology, building institutions to investigate and enforce the law (Judiciary, prosecution, police, Ombudsman, Auditor General) and noted that no Rwandan irrespective of status is above the law, education access to all, dealing with poverty and economic empowerment, among others.
The Ambassador observed that Justice and reconciliation has perhaps been one of the biggest achievements so far. He however reminded Rwandans in the Diaspora that a lot remains to be done with many challenges some of which are beyond the government’s control and require international cooperation and solidarity.
He cited the example of Genocidal forces in DRC, Genocide suspects outside Rwanda, particularly in Europe, and the deniers of Genocide.
Referring to the recent release of the four Genocide suspects who have been in UK prisons for the last two years, Gatete said that what Rwanda needs is justice irrespective of where it takes place.
He finally reminded the members of the Diaspora of their role in helping to rebuild their country and commended them for the initiative of the One Dollar Campaign to help build houses for orphaned survivors of the Genocide.
A documentary on the Genocide was shown and different recorded messages from the world renowned personalities and politicians all emphasizing never again were shown.