Rwandan military and police peacekeepers in South Sudan, Abyei and Haiti were yesterday joined their colleagues and residents to pay tribute to over one millions innocent lives killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Over 800 police and military peacekeepers serving under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) were joined by members of the Rwandan community, representatives of NGOs and internal displaced personal in Malakai to remember.
Speaking during the event, the UNMISS Coordinator, Hazel De Wet paid tribute to the victims of the Genocide and also congratulated Rwanda to have rapidly rebuilt itself.
She went on to note that, from the 1994 mayhem, “Rwanda decided not let any other country go through the ugly experience and has since become one of the top contributors of peacekeepers globally.”
She thanked the UNMISS Rwandan peacekeepers for their exemplary services .
“South Sudanese should copy these best practices from Rwanda, forget the past and reconcile and built their nation,” She told hundreds of IDPs, who attended the event.
Speaking on behalf of Rwanda peacekeepers in the Upper Nile Col. Deo Rusanganwa detailed the origin and the cause of the genocide and showcased Rwanda’s current development agenda to uplift the well-being of Rwandans and rebuild the country. He further appealed to the international community to work together and facilitate in tracking genocide perpetrators who are still at large.
In Haiti, the commemoration event was held at the Rwandan Formed Police Unit (RWAFPU6) camp base in Jeremie and attended by over 300 guests including UN staff, the Rwandan community in Haiti and residents.
MINUSTAH Police Commissioner, Brig. Gen. George-Pierre Monchotte, who was the guest of honor.
Monchotte, commended Rwanda’s transformation process, which is also defined by the professionalism and commitment of the Rwandan peacekeepers in peace building in other countries. Addressing the congregation, Commissioner of Police (CP) Joseph Mugisha, the commander of Rwanda National Police peacekeepers in Haiti, said that “22 years ago, Rwandans succumbed to 100 rainy days of horror, flooded in blood and in tears of survivors.”
“Rwandans were abandoned in all ways. First, its own army then involved in killing the innocent civilians then the international community with its supposed peacekeepers,” CP Mugisha said. “Rwanda collapsed to the hands of her citizens and the genocide ideology of the then leaders and the indifference of the international community,” he added.
He added that after the genocide, Rwanda is today responding to those distressed beyond its border and committed to prevent and fight genocide or any atrocities wherever they can happen.
Similar event was held in the Abyei where both Rwanda army and police peacekeepers were joined by their fellow peacekeepers from other countries in the commemoration event.