South Africa commemorates Rwanda genocide

By | 7 April 2008

Pretoria – The Rwandan Embassy in South Africa, in collaboration with United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Pretoria and the University of South Africa (UNISA) yesterday held a commemorative event at UNISA to mark the 14th anniversary of the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

This year’s commemoration was held under the theme of “Let us keep the memory of the Genocide alive in fighting the ideology of genocide: Assisting survivors and promoting development”.

South African government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and the academia, as well as the Rwandese living in South Africa attended the event.

In his statement, the Rwandese Ambassador to South Africa, H.E. Eugene Munyakayanza, said that this year’s commemoration was another opportunity to reflect and to say “never again” to genocide. He stressed that although people should not forget the past, “we should above all look to the future because the sun is shining bright in the Rwandan sky”.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in South Africa, Mr. Macharia Kamau, read the message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in which he said the UN was pursuing a global awareness campaign to ensure that human rights are known, understood and enjoyed by everyone, everywhere. Mr. Ban noted that it was often those who most need their rights protected who also need to be informed that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights exists — and that it exists for them.

Also speaking at the occasion were UNISA Vice Chancellor and Principal Prof. Barney Pityana and the dean of the diplomatic corps in South Africa, Ambassador Abdulla A. Alzubeidi of Libya. Highlights of the event included a moment of silence and candle lighting as well as the showing of the UN-produced documentary video, “Rwanda: Rising from Ashes”.

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