Ethiopia: AU commemorates Rwanda genocide

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - Diplomats and representatives of the international community on Friday gathered at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the 23rd Commemoration of the Rwanda Genocide and paid tribute to the 800,000 lives lost during the 100 days of killing.

AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat joined the Rwandan population in Kigali, where he arrived the same day, to remember the lives lost during the genocide in 1994.

Mr. Mahamat is on a two-day official visit during which he is scheduled to consult with President Paul Kagame on the implementation of the AU's institutional reforms.

At the AU, the event ran under the theme: 'Remember the Rwanda Genocide - Fight Genocide Ideology – Build on our Progress'.

According to the AU, genocide denial has been changing over time and it is an ultimate continuation of the genocide ideology, which in reality is the continuum of actions that characterize genocide.

The objective of the commemoration was to discuss and bring out the dangers of ‘denial’, including highlighting the classic ‘manifestations’ of genocide denial and how to fight it, said a brief issued by the AU Directorate of Information and Communication.

"This commemoration encompasses the continent’s aspirations for a peaceful and prosperous Africa," it said, pointing out that the atrocities of the genocide were remembered and the importance of working towards a peaceful Rwanda and prevent such horrendous atrocities in the future.

"It is a chance to learn of Rwanda’s story of reconciliation and nation building," it added.

The purpose of the annual commemoration is to continuously awaken greater awareness of the African peoples and the international community about the value of life and humanity, and to renew their collective commitment to protect and uphold fundamental human rights.

Meanwhile, the people of South Sudan were urged to draw lessons from what happened in Rwanda in 1994 to prevent genocide from taking place on their own soil.

Speaking at the commemoration of the Rwanda Genocide, the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Moustapha Soumare, made an impassioned call to silence the guns and seek the path for peace in the strife-torn country.

As Rwanda marks the day, the South Sudanese should also remember the lives lost in the years of conflict in their own country, Mr. Soumare said.

Peacekeepers from Rwanda marked the day at the UNMISS base in Tomping by paying tribute to the victims of the mass killing and they also carried out various activities to support survivors.

“As we gather here today we also remember the victims of the conflict in South Sudan. The senseless fighting over the past few years has left thousands of people dead and millions displaced. May the South Sudanese people and their leaders unite through courage and resolve the fighting,” Mr. Soumare added.
-0- PANA AR 7April2017

07 april 2017 17:54:33

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