Rwandan Police and military peacekeepers serving in different UN peacekeeping missions, on April 7, marked the 29th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
They were joined by the Rwandan community leaving and working in the mission countries as well as peacekeepers from other contributing countries, government officials and local communities; to pay tribute to more than one million people massacred in just 100 days, 29 years ago.
The commemoration in Kaga Bandoro, Nana Gribizi region was also attended by Alessandra Trabatoni, who represented the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
Trabatoni embarked on Rwanda’s progress to fight genocide ideology and to reunite Rwandans.
She reiterated Rwanda’s commitment to international peace and being an example to unity and reconciliation.
In Malakal, the Governor of Upper Nile State, James Odok Oyai lauded Rwanda’s “speedy recovery” and “quick development in only 29 years.”
“We have a lot to learn from Rwanda as this could help change our the people’s mindset especially here in Upper Nile State,” said Governor Odok.
Paul Ebwiro, the UNMISS acting Head of Malakal Field Office, who spoke on behalf of the mission, said that the Genocide against the Tutsi is one of the darkest chapters in recent human history.
“On this day, we honour those who were murdered and reflect on the suffering and resilience of those who survived,” Ebwiro said.
He called upon political, religious and civil society leaders to reject hate speech, discrimination and hatred, and to work vigorously to address and mitigate the root causes that undermine social cohesion.
“The capacity for evil resides in all our societies, but so, too, do the qualities of understanding, kindness, justice and reconciliation. Let us work together to build a harmonious future for all. This is the best way to honour those who lost their lives so tragically in Rwanda 29 years ago,” Ebwiro said.
The commemoration was also held in Juba where the Rwandan peacekeepers and diaspora in South Sudan were joined by the UNMISS and government officials, and other peacekeepers, to remember.