The Rwanda Embassy in Ethiopia together with the African Union Commission yesterday organized a solemn event in Addis Ababa to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis.
The commemoration was held at the headquarters of the AU and attended by the Rwandan community living in Ethiopia, the diplomatic corps and friends of Rwanda.
Hope Tumukunde Gasatura, Rwanda’s permanent representative to the AU, Thomas Kwesi, AU deputy chairman, and the AU political affairs commissioner Samate Cessouma Minata lit a Flame of Remembrance.
Ambassador Tumukunde commended the strong commitment of the AUC and the solidarity shown by the Addis-based international community and reminded that the whole world has a responsibility to learn from what happened in Rwanda.
She urged them to fight genocide ideology as hate crimes and intolerance are increasing around the world and especially in Africa.
“Diversity has continued to be a source of conflicts and killings instead of being a source of strength for nation-building and sustainable development. We should resist any move by those who want to take negative advantage of the diversity in our countries to fuel ethnic tensions,” she said.
“7th of April is an awakening date that continues to stir our resolve to the value of life and humanity and renew our collective commitment to uphold human rights,” said AU deputy chairman Thomas Kwesi.
He further stressed that the roots of genocide ideology are nowhere else to be found but in the history of colonialism and its divide-and-rule policy. His speech also included a message of hope and a call to emulate Rwanda as a country that has turned a crisis into opportunity and which remains a vivid example of leadership and continuity.
The ceremony was concluded by a minute of silence in memory of the more than 1 million people that were killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis.
In the evening, the Rwandan community gathered at the chancery of the Embassy for a night vigil.