The Rwandan Community working with the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), together with fellow Peacekeepers from different countries and the Darfur community, paid their tribute to the victims of the Rwandan Genocide against Tutsis.
The event was held on 7 April 2012 in El Fasher, under the theme: “Learning from our history to build a bright future.
Lt Gen Patrick Nyamvumba, UNAMID Force Commander noted that for the last 18 years, Rwandans have worked to rebuild their lives and chart a new course for their country’s future.
“Let us therefore learn the moral lessons of the Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda and denounce ethnic and tribal rivalry and thus, embrace each other in a spirit of reconciliation and peaceful coexistence” General Nyamvumba said in his speech.
He said that the only way to truly honour the memory of victims was to ensure that genocide never occurred again and called on his compatriots to continue to build on a new Rwanda
“Today, Rwanda is growing, and Rwanda is sending peacekeepers to United Nations Missions in different parts of the world to show our commitment and determination to cultivate peace, development, and concern for humanitarian issues,’’ the Force Commander said.
A community leader in El Fasher, Sheik Haron Musa expressed sympathy with the unfortunate development, which he said claimed the lives of “our brothers and sisters, as well as children in Rwanda’’, stressing the need for peaceful co-existence in Africa, irrespective of tribes, color and religion. In an emotion-laden testimony, Mr. Albert Attwell from UNAMID Mission Support Centre, who witnessed the genocide, described the incident as “man inhumanity to man’’, saying “I saw most of the killings of children, women and men of Tutsi extraction and Hutus who refused to cooperate with killers ’’.
“In fact, I saw hell and I have seen hell during the period of the genocide’’, Attwell said. He also paid tribute to the people and government of Rwanda for the resilience and dignity they have shown in working towards national recovery and managing the trauma of the genocide.
At the event, some UNAMID workers also stressed the need to promote education, as a tool to help reconciliation and understanding between the people. The commemoration included laying of wreath and one minute of silence to honour the victims, as well as the survivors, the signing of a guest register and a night vigil.
Similar events were held in different areas of Darfur like Kabkabiya in the North and Nyala in the South.