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KWIBUKA 30: Rwandan Police peacekeepers commemorate

The Rwandan Police peacekeepers deployed in different UN peacekeeping missions were on Sunday, April 7, joined by friends of Rwanda and other blue berets to mark the 30th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

In Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan and Rwanda Security Forces fighting terrorists in Cabo Delgado Province in Mozambique, a moment of silence was observed to pay tribute to more than one million innocent Rwandans who were exterminated 30 years ago.

A Frame of Remembrance was also lit and a Walk to Remember held.

UN Mission in South Sudan

The commemoration in Juba was attended by the Vice President of South Sudan in charge of Gender and Youth Cluster, Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, Rwanda's High Commissioner to Uganda and South Sudan, Col (rtd) Joseph Rutabana, the Deputy Special Representative of Secretary General to UNMISS, Guang Cong, religious leaders, and Diplomatic Corps, among others.

Vice President Nyandeng commended Rwanda's visionary leadership that has rebuilt the country from the ashes of the Genocide, against all odds.

She applauded the resilience and reconciliation of Rwandans, and the role of the empowered young people and women in peace-building.

South Sudan, she said, will continue to stand with Rwanda in fighting genocide ideology. This stance, VP Nyandeng said, should be an African culture for other African leaders to fight hate speech, conflicts and violence.

The commemoration was also held in Malakal, Upper Nile State, when Rwanda FPU-1 is deployed.

The UNMISS Head of Field Office-Malakal, Alfred Orono Orono said that as Rwanda remember and honors the victims of 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, it also sets an example for sustainable peace.

He added that Rwanda is true example to South Sudanese where worst situation can be changed in terms of peace.

Central African Republic 

Rwandan peacekeepers serving under the UN Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA) converged at the RWAFPU1-9 Base Camp in the capital Bangui, to remember.

The remembrance was presided over by Rwanda’s Head of Diplomatic Mission to Central African Republic, Olivier Kayumba.

It was also attended by the Special Representative of UN Secretary-General, Amb. Valentine Rugwabiza, MINUSCA Head of Police component, Commissioner of Police (CP) Christophe Bizimungu, the Rwandan community, government officials and peacekeepers from other contributing countries.

Amb. Kayumba said that Rwanda continues its transformation journey, and urged the young people to avoid all activities that could instil hatred and divisionism, but rather be more active in sustaining what has been achieved.

"The youth have a big task to continue building the Rwanda we want because you have the power to do so. You know what has been done and what you will continue to do," Amb. Kayumba said.

At the Rwanda Formed Police Unit Three (RWAFPU-3) Base Camp in Bangassou District, the commemoration was also attended by CAR government officials, religious leaders and MINUSCA staff, which was characterized by prayers and speeches that focused mainly on how the Genocide was planned and executed as the international community watched, and how it was stopped by the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA).

In his message on the 30th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said: "In 1994, one million children, women & men were killed in the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. 

We will never forget the victims. or will we ever forget the bravery and resilience of those who survived, whose courage and willingness to forgive remain a burst of light and hope."