On April 13, 2018, the Secretary General on the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, delivered his remarks to Commemorate the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
In his remarks, Guterres said that, “Today we remember all those who were killed in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.”
For long, Rwandans had waited for the day when the UN would admit that the “horrific events” in Rwanda were not just a genocide, but one that was committed against the Tutsis as opposed to a blurred definition and attribution that it was a “Rwandan genocide that claimed over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus” or the “genocidal violence in 1994” as the US government officials call it.
The USA is among the only remaining countries that have deliberately and arrogantly, with no shame, refused to recognise the genocide against the Tutsi and many US government officials continue to be adamant, to a point of rubbing it into the face of Rwandans and particularly to the survivors.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is one of them. In his just concluded visit to Rwanda, on August 11, 2022, Secretary Blinken visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial where he had gone to pay his “respects”.
Blinken, a Jew, shocked the nation after being toured through the memorial and laying a wreath on grave, the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
“Deeply moved while visitingKigali Genocide Memorial to pay my respects and remember those murdered during 100 days of genocidal violence in 1994. The U.S. stands with the survivors and is steadfast in our support for every Rwandan working towards reconciliation, peace, and prosperity,” Blinken said.
Deeply moved while visiting @Kigali_Memorial to pay my respects and remember those murdered during 100 days of genocidal violence in 1994. The U.S. stands with the survivors and is steadfast in our support for every Rwandan working towards reconciliation, peace, and prosperity. pic.twitter.com/0GNyb7BaZa
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) August 11, 2022
He also wrote a note in the visitors’ book. In the note below, he omits to mention the genocide against the Tutsi, and blatantly refers to it as “tragic events”, but shamelessly proceeds to recognise the Holocaust in the same note, an incident that has left many Rwandans irritated, launching a social media attack on Blinken for his diplomatic gaffe that exhibited carelessness, fuzzy thinking, and extreme insensitivity.
Blinken’s repugnant comments attracted ile on social media, especially on Twitter.
“This is actually disgusting, and I am asking: why bother writing “genocidal violence”, better not to have visited. You have never changed, we remember during the genocide against the Tutsi, a US official was asked: “how many acts of genocide needed for it to be called a genocide?”, said Dr. Alphonse Muleefu, a Senior Lecturer, School of Law, and Acting. Principal, CASS-University of Rwanda, author of the Independence of the International Criminal Court (Intersentia, 2019). “You couldn’t do much then, we fended off for ourselves, we cannot fail today, so no much surprise.”
“Really??? You had to say genocidal violence? Why is it so hard for you to say The Genocide against Tutsi?” said Lillian Nshuti. And John Murenzi added, “He has bad words this man!!”
Nathalie Munyampenda, says, “Genocidal violence’?!! Sounds like the US use of “acts of genocide” in 1994 while Tutsi were being butchered & they refused to jam hate radio. ‘How many acts of genocide constitutes a Genocide?’ Why visit Kigali Genocide memorial only to write empty words? Better to be silent.”
Very disappointed by you; Blinken, you took opportunity to mention Holocaust but you ignored to recognize Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda. Shame on you.” Jabo Ngwije Mugabe.
“You cannot use the term genocide without naming a group of people that was targeted. Also, you use reconciliation between who and who. It must be tough for your assistant to develop such a statement. Your visit was an insult to our loved ones. You had no obligation to do so,” Lydia says.
Despite ur support to the terrorist rusesabagina, despite ur wierd statements at Kigali Genocide Memorial a place of honor to the Victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, u have acquired one great lessons: Rwanda will never succumb to your hypocrisy & double standard.
— Eugene Iyamuremye (@Iyamuremye_Eug) August 11, 2022
Comments are still trickling on Blinken’s twitter timeline, but he appreciated the welcome to Kigali and waved. “Thank you for welcoming me to Kigali.”