United Nations Lights Candles To Honour Genocide Victims
The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Monday joined Rwandans at lit a candle to honour victims of the Genocide against Tutsi.
The event was held at the General Assembly Hall, United Nations Headquarters in New York U.S.
Rwandans across the world are holding several events for the 22nd commemoration of the genocide against Tutsi which claimed a million lives in 1994.
“On this day, we remember all who perished in the genocide and renew our resolve to prevent such atrocities from ever being repeated, anywhere in the world,” Ban Ki Moon said.
On April 12 in 1994, Belgian peacekeepers withdrew from the UN force in Rwanda (UNMIS) as hundreds of thousands of Tutsi sought refuge in churches across the country.
Frida Umuhoza a survivor of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi shared her testimony at the commemoration event. She was just 14 years old when she was buried alive alongside her 15 family members. She was rescued after being trapped for many hours in a shallow mass grave.
“My mum’s head was cut off. My three brothers were killed. My father was killed. I was knocked out. When I woke up they were burying us,” she remembers.
Umuhoza said in her testimony that “It was only when the Rwandan Patriotic Front came to rescue us did I think the nightmare might be over.”
Other Key participants included; Malcolm Hoenlein CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
He said during the commemoration, “we remember the lessons of 22 years ago, not just for us, but for future generations.”
“What you call it matters. Let’s call it what it is: a genocide against the Tutsi,” Hoenlein said.
In her remarks at the commemoration event, Nelly Mukazayire a young leader said, “As a daughter of a genocide perpetrator, I’m an example of the equal opportunity in the new Rwanda.” She noted that “Indeed no one can run from the truth. Call it different names… but the facts do not disappear”
Pauletta Washington a Jazz musician also joined the commemoration event.
EugÃ¨ne-Richard Gasana Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations told participants at the commemoration, “President Paul Kagame cultivated a culture where there is no Tutsi or Hutu- We are One. A country where we are all Rwandans.”
Gasana said “when President Kagame pronounced “never again should a genocide happen” it was not only for Rwanda but for all of humanity.