The 1994 Rwanda’s genocide, when over one million of the Tutsi were killed in just 100 days, by ethnic Hutu extremists, was commemorated both by the African Union in Addis Ababa, and Rwanda’s capital Kigali, in the presence of top African leaders, Sunday April 7th.
Kwibuka, which means “remember”, was central at the commemoration at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa to recall the lives lost, show solidarity with survivors, and unite to ensure genocide never happens again.
At the AU, there was an address by the Rwandese ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative of the African Union, Tumukunde Gasatura, who said there was a need for African countries to invest more in youth education, so that similar atrocities will not happen again.
Remember, Unite, Renew, was the theme of the commemoration of Rwanda’s genocide, due to the hundreds of thousands who were wounded, and tens of thousands who became refugees in the neighbouring countries or overseas.
A documentary movie was premiered, displaying heaps of slayed bodies. Short movies were shown of displayed survivors bearing witness about the rape and HIV they had suffered by the murderous perpetrators.
According to the ambassador, youth were mobilized and indoctrinated, making them central to carrying out the genocide in Rwanda, and she called on African governments to continue investing in peace, and especially in conflict prevention.
Some 20 African countries are among 45 worldwide yet to ratify a United Nations Genocide Convention adopted by the UN General Assembly 70 years ago.
The adoption of the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was aimed at ensuring no country went through the harrowing experience of deliberate efforts to wipe out a community, race or ethnic group.
The ambassador called on the 20 African countries to ratify the convention to help ensure crimes of this nature do not occur anywhere in Africa ever again.
The commemoration, which was begun by prayers from representatives of Orthodox, Muslim, Catholics, Christian and Evangelical churches who called for the full inclusion of African youth in the development agenda, in order for them to play a central role in diversity management and societal transformation.
The genocide in Rwanda was started at 12:00 AM on April 7, 1994 and stopped by another section of youth led by the Rwandan Patriotic Army after 100 days.