23rd Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in The Hague
7 April 2017
This year, Rwanda marks the 23rd Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Themed "Remember the Genocide against the Tutsi - Fight Genocide Ideology - Build on Our Progress”, this year's Commemoration will be an occasion for Rwandans from all walks of life to pay tribute to the more than million innocent lives lost.
The Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda in the Netherlands started the 23rd commemoration program today in The Hague. Ambassador Jean Pierre Karabaranga hosted the official Kwibuka23 commemoration at the Hilton Hotel. The event was attended by more than 300 guests, including Mrs Yoka Brandt, guest of honor and Secretary General of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Pauline Krikke, the mayor of The Hague, the diplomatic community, friends of Rwanda, Rwandan nationals living in the Netherlands and many others. All guests joined the Walk to Remember that was held prior to the official commemoration.
The official Kwibuka23 event in The Hague in the Netherlands started with a prayer for the victims and survivors by Bishop John Manywa. This was followed by Mrs Christine Safari, who survived the carnage. She had the courage to deliver a moving testimony to the audience, which was followed by a minute of silence.
After the ceremony to light the candles, representing the ever shining lights of the victims, a speech was given by Mr Christian Mundele, the President of Ibuka in the Netherlands.
The speech by the Secretary General of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Yoka Brandt, was followed by the closing speech given by H.E. Ambassador Jean Pierre Karabaranga. Ambassador Karabaranga said in this speech that we remember the genocide against the Tutsis, because it is an important occasion to remember the lives that were lost, show solidarity with survivors and unite to ensure it never happens again – in Rwanda or anywhere else. “It is also a chance to learn about Rwanda’s story of reconciliation and nation building. We remember with renewed clarity and commit ourselves to work for a bright future for the next generation of Rwandans”, said the Ambassador. “Kwibuka, which means ‘remember’ in Kinyarwanda, has been launched in Kigali this morning on 7 April 2017. We are called to act for the benefit of future generations in a united and prosperous Rwanda.”
Ambassador Karabaranga also took the opportunity to thank the Dutch Government, for giving a good example by prosecuting 2 genocide suspects in the Netherlands and for having extradited 2 others to Rwanda to face the justice where the crimes were committed. He said that this is a good example that other countries in Europe should follow. “But also here, we know that many genocide fugitives are still on the run. More efforts should be put to try all those who live on the soil of this beautiful country the Netherlands, which hosts the International City of Justice in The Hague, should not be safe haven for genocide fugitives”, said the Ambassador.
H.E. Ambassador Jean Pierre Karabaranga concluded to take the opportunity to thank the guest of honor Mrs Yoka Brandt, IBUKA-Netherlands and the Rwandan Diaspora association in the Netherlands for organizing this annual event in cooperation with the Embassy.
"Remember the Genocide against the Tutsi - Fight Genocide Ideology – Build on Our Progress"
This year, Rwanda marks the 23rd commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Themed "Remember the Genocide against the Tutsi - Fight Genocide Ideology - Build on Our Progress”, this year's commemoration will be an occasion for Rwandans from all walks of life to pay tribute to the more than million innocent lives lost.
On 7 April 2017, events will be held at national and village levels to kick off the National Mourning Week. Throughout the week, Rwandans throughout the country will reiterate their commitment to fight genocide ideology and reflect on the country's journey of unity and reconciliation in the last 23 years. The Mourning Week will be concluded on 13 April 2017 with an event to pay respect to politicians killed for opposing the inhumane activities of the genocidal government.
In the 100 days of the Commemoration period, Rwandans and friends of Rwanda will hold discussions on how best to encourage and ensure the current progress in socio-economic growth for the people of Rwanda. Good governance is considered a main pillar in the fight against genocide ideology.
Speaking about the 23rd Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide, Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana said:*“The Genocide against the Tutsi was an attempt to break down our potential and rip apart our unity. In 100 days we lost 1million friends, family members, neighbors, leaders and future leaders. To honor the memory of those lost, we will spend 100 days coming together. We will spend the rest of our lives fighting genocide ideology – with all the tools in our possession. Good governance, continued and sustainable growth and remembering our loved ones are our weapons of choice.”
The Genocide against the Tutsi began on April 7, 1994 and lasted 100 days. A research study commissioned by the Ministry of Local Government in 2000 concluded that an approximate total of 1,074,017 were killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Kwibuka23 Events in the Netherlands
The Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda invites you to be part of a global community, to share the story of the genocide and create a powerful voice for the world to hear. As a new generation emerges we will ensure the lives of those lost are remembered through our actions today. Kwibuka23 calls on the global community to stand together against genocide:
5.00pm Start official ceremony at the Hilton Hotel
The theme of Kwibuka23 is "Remember the Genocide against the Tutsi - Fight Genocide Ideology – Build on Our Progress”.
Memory-Unity-Renew, will underpin all activities.
To honor the memory of those who lost their lives
To inform Rwandans and the international community about the genocide to ensure historical clarity. In particular, the aim is to educate the international community about the causes, reality and consequences of the genocide
To highlight nation building in Rwanda, the resilience of Rwandans and how the country is working for shared human values.
To deepen understanding and support for Rwanda’s efforts for reconciliation
To encourage participation from across the nation and globally, so that the story is told and people are united behind global call of action of “never again”.
To highlight reconstruction efforts and the progress the country has made after the genocide.
To inform the world about Rwanda’s ambitions and vision for the future
The following web and social media sites contain resources that you might find useful when reporting on Kwibuka23.
The official website of Kwibuka contains information about the 23rd commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi, a timeline of events from 1900 to today as well as survivors’, perpetrators’ and rescuers’ testimonies, historical archives of photos and videos and more.
On this site you will find videos relating to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi enriched with synchronised transcripts, searchable index terms and maps. Videos include testimonies of survivors and perpetrators, Gacaca Justice System court proceedings and remembrance ceremonies.
This site contains information about the centre in Kigali which was created by a joint partnership of the Kigali City Council and the UK-based Aegis Trust. The centre contains a permanent exhibition of the Genocide against the Tutsi and an exhibition of other genocides around the world.
The National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG) website contains latest news, photos, videos and resources related to the effort to prevent genocide in Rwanda. Here you can access publications and information about memorials sites across the country.
The Kwibuka YouTube channel has the short film ‘Remember, Unite, Renew’ available to watch and embed into your news site as well as other videos. Interviews, speeches and other audio visual coverage of the event will be available here.
The Kwibuka Sound Cloud has the song ‘Urumuri Rutazima’ available to listen to and embed into your news site. Audio of today’s event as well as interviews, speeches and other coverage of the event will be available here.