Rwandan Peacekeepers across the world, on April 7, joined the rest of Rwandans and friends of Rwanda to mark the 25th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The peacekeepers in Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan, Abyei, Darfur, and Haiti were joined by senior government and top UN officials, fellow peacekeepers, Rwandans living or working in these countries as well as clerics and local residents.
Wreaths were laid, frame of remembrance lit and a minute of silence observed across all missions in honour of more than one million innocent lives massacred 25 years ego.
In CAR, the activities to remember held at the Rwandan military peacekeepers’ base camp in the capital Bangui was presided over by the Prime Minister of CAR, Rt. Hon. Firmin Ngrebada
Present was also the Special Representative of the Secretary General to the UN mission in CAR, Mankeur Ndiaye, the vice President of CAR parliament Symphorien Mapenzi; Joint Force Commander, Gen. Balla Keita and the Police Commissioner, Gen. Pascal Champion
The Prime Minister paid respect to the victims and thanked the “men and women whose sacrifices stopped the Genocide.”
“We stand here today to remember those innocent lives killed, comfort survivors and the Rwandan community in general. This happened as the whole world watched, I thank President Paul Kagame and those that were under his command for putting their lives on the line to stop the Genocide and to save lives,” Ngrebada said
He added: “We recognise the journey of unity and reconciliation Rwandans have taken, a key factor in the country’s overall transformation process; the development and the well-being of Rwandans tells the story.”
The SRSG, Mankeur Ndiaye observed that “we can’t forget the failure of the UN in Rwanda to protect more than one million innocent people.”
At the commemoration in Malakal, Upper Nile region, the UN Head of Field office (HOFO) Mme Hazel Dewet, who delivered a message of condolence to the Genocide victims, said it signifies the failure of the international community when Rwandans needed them most.
The commemoration activities were also characterized by a ‘Walk to Remember’, testimonies of survivors and words of hope and progress made by the country in the last 25 years