On 7 April 2022, the India Africa Trade Council jointly with the High Commission of Rwanda in New Delhi organized physically the Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. The Commemoration was attended by an estimate of 150 people, mostly members of the African diplomatic corps, Government Officials from the Ministry of External Affairs of India and Government of Delhi and members of the academia and business community.
The Commemoration ceremony was marked by lighting 28 candles by the diplomatic community including Ambassadors/High Commissioners and diplomats from various African and non-African countries followed a minute of silence.
The program was conducted at Niryat Bhawan, New Delhi where a documentary on the Genocide against the Tutsi was shown along with mourning songs.
Dr. Asif Iqbal, President of the India Africa Trade Council, set the theme and elaborated on the UN and AU legal ground of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. He recommended that: “The Genocide against the Tutsi should be remembered and observed every year to make the world realize the pain and suffering against humanity. We stand in solidarity with Rwanda..”.
In her remarks, the High Commissioner of Rwanda to India, Ms. Jacqueline Mukangira, described the Genocide against the Tutsi in its cruelest terms. She said:”… The killing machine was the most painful ever in human history: victims were hacked with sharp machetes, nailed clubs, pregnant mothers tortured by opening wombs with knives, burying the victims alive, babies smashed on walls,…and as if the horror was not enough, killers used to eat the hearts of the victims..” The High Commissioner reminded the audience that the genocidal government was defeated by the Rwanda Patriotic Army/Front under the High Command of HE Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda New Delhi.
Pointing to the UN Resolution 2150 of 2014, the High Commissioner reiterated the UN call to countries to enact laws punishing the Genocide, stressing that “countries without those laws would not be in a position to punish the perpetrators of the Genocide. Hence the absolute necessity to adopt those laws and enact them whenever needed”.
With regard to the denial of the Genocide against the Tutsi, the High Commissioner Jacqueline Mukangira reminded the audience that the mentioned UN Resolution “condemns without reservation any denial of this genocide, and urges Member States to develop educational programmes that will inculcate future generations with the lessons of the genocide in order to help prevent future genocides..”. Equally, she urged countries to erect memorials of the Genocide against the Tutsi to preserve its
The High Commissioner ended her remarks on the current situation of Rwanda. She told the audience that Rwanda chose Unity and Reconciliation as a way to sustainable stability and development. She underscored that today Rwanda is a fast growing economy and a good example of good governance. Citing her example as a survivor of the Genocide against the Tutsi during which she lost many of her family members, she had earlier adopted the path of reconciliation and forgiveness to be able to overcome her tragedy and forge her way forward to participating in Rwanda’s reconstruction.
The Ambassador of Armenia to India, H.E Youri Babakhanian, elaborated chronologically on the genocides that befell the world. He further recommended that UN resolutions against the genocide should be abided by to prevent other atrocities and create better harmony amongst people.
In his address to the audience, H.E Paulias Korni, the High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea to India, gave a clear account of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. He mentioned that perpetrators should be punished. He also commended the path Rwanda is taking towards development and democracy.
Members of the academia and business community that took part in the round of exposes during the commemorative event talked about genocides and big human conflicts. They developed their thoughts around the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and warned again the world of the possible looming danger of atrocities if preventive measures are not taken by governments and political leaders.