The 24th anniversary dubbed “Kwibuka24” of the Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda commemorated at the UN complex NairobiTirus Wainaina
Guests and UN staff participated in laying of roses on a symbol that was created to mark the 24th anniversary of the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
Josephine Murebwayire – One of the survivors gave a very touchy testimony of how she survived in 1960, 1975 and in 1994 respectively. A video on the survivors was screened and candles lit by representatives from UN, Kenya Government and Rwanda High Commission.
Ambassador James Kimonyo, High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda to Kenya addressed a solemn audience with a moving speech as he painted the vivid pictures of Genocide as it happened in 1994 and also thanked the United Nations General Assembly for finally adopting resolution 72/550 of the 26 January 2018 recognizing that what happened in Rwanda between April 7th and July 1994 was the genocide against the Tutsi. He said “ From this year onwards 7th April will be officially marked as the International Day of Reflection on 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The Commemoration offers us all an opportunity to examine the factors that led to such mass atrocities. How despotic leaders can destroy a nation, what we should do to keep our people united and converse on measures we should take to make sure that this doesn’t happen again’. In July 1994, over one million people had died, some 2 million refugees were stranded outside the country, there was an estimated 1 million internally displaced persons, and tens of thousands of genocide survivors were deeply traumatized. The account of the material damage immeasurable; huge infrastructure was destroyed; banks and businesses had been plundered, the civil service, judicial system, health care and education services were in rubbles, crops and livestock lost.” Ambassador Kimonyo, positively concluded by saying – We call upon countries to enact laws to fight the denial of other genocides including Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. If Genocide denial is left unchecked, it can form the basis of another cycle of genocide”.
Another speech by Ambassador Macharia Kamau, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kenya said “Today we stand in solidarity with the people of Rwanda in endeavor top overcome one of humankind’s darkest chapters.” He went on to add “we also reflect on how we can continue to work together to ensure a world free from similar atrocities.”
Madam Sahle-Work Zewde UNON Director-General delivered the United Nations Secretary-General’s message.
Students were later invited to a panel discussion following a presentation by the Rwanda High Commissioner on the atrocities of the genocide. The discussion generated heated and lively conversation as the student raised their questions and observations in the interactive session.
The aired live on Youtube and video recorded event, was organized and coordinated by UN Information Centre (UNIC) Nairobi and Rwanda Embassy in Kenya and was attended by over 1000 guests who included the diplomatic community, Kenya Government Representatives, Rwanda community in Kenya, UN staff and students from local universities.
Overall the event was a success and participants who included students expressed wishes that more time should be allocated to such an important