Dubai: Rwandans and friends of Rwanda in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain came together in Dubai and remotely on Friday to honour the more than a million lives lost during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
In just 100 days in 1994, about a million people were slaughtered in Rwanda by ethnic Hutu extremists. They were targeting members of the minority Tutsi community, as well as their political opponents, irrespective of their ethnic origin.
Addressing the audience, Emmanuel Hategeka, Ambassador of Rwanda to the UAE, paid tribute to victims and honoured survivors of the genocide. He noted that the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi was a stark reminder of the greatest failure of humanity and total failure of the international community in recent history. He called for fighting genocide denial and revisionism.
In her remarks, Reem Ebrahim Al Hashemi, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation expressed compassion and solidarity: “I am deeply honoured and deeply humbled to represent my country at this 27th Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. This is a very important moment and a very important milestone for us to remember and honour the victims and also for us to pay respect to the survivors and ensure that what happened never happens again.
“There is a lot of respect, compassion and solidarity from the people of the United Arab Emirates and from the leadership of the United Arab Emirates towards our fellow brethren in Rwanda and also the leadership of Rwanda led by H.E. the President Paul Kagame, who we hold a lot of respect for; we continue to enjoy strong relations with Rwanda.”
“We stand hand in hand with you and we pray that this not only happens again but we work actively together to ensure all forms of hatred, all forms of extremism are fought and tackled,” she added.
Hategeka added: “The genocide against the Tutsi was stopped 27 years ago, but the genocide ideology and genocide suspects still at large continue to propagate genocide denial and revisionism even among the unborn youth at the time making the commitment to never again almost mission impossible. On this occasion, I urge the youth in whose hands the future of our country lies to distance themselves from genocide ideology, genocide denial and revisionist narratives.”
“We also call upon the international community to recommit to Never Again by bringing to justice genocide suspects still at large. There are now 1,100 genocide fugitives roaming in different countries and they have not been apprehended,” he added.
Every year, the commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda officially starts on April 7 and last a hundred days.