UNISFA reflects on the Rwanda genocide
On 9 April 2018, the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) uniformed personnel and civilian staff reflected on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda with a walk, messages of reconciliation and lighting of candles signifying hope that the incident will never happen again in Rwanda and anywhere else in the world.
In memory of the more than 800,000 Rwandans, prayers were offered and candles were lighted at the UNISFA Mission HQ in Abyei with the UN flag at half-mast.
“Today we remember all those who were murdered and reflect on the suffering of the survivors, who have shown that reconciliation is possible, even after a tragedy of such monumental proportions,” said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a message read by the Acting Head of Mission and Force Commander (Acting HoM/FC) Major General Tesfay Gidey Hailemichael. “Rwanda has learned from its tragedy, so must the international community.”
"As we reflect on the Rwanda genocide, it becomes apparent that human race needs to embrace and celebrate diversity and collectivism rather than retrogressive discrimination and segregation," said Mary Gahonzire, UNISFA's Senior Police Advisor (SPA). The SPA represented the men and women from Rwanda working with UNISFA.
"The media also played a crucial role in spreading the ideology of hate against the Tutsi. As we reflect on the Rwanda genocide today, the media should be mindful and reminded of the need to be positively looking and sowing seeds that enhance diversity and respect for each other," Senior Police Advisor Mary Gahonzire highlighted during her speech.
In Abyei, the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda was led by the Acting HoM/FC Maj Gen Hailemichael; Maj Gen Ataklti Gebremariam, Deputy Force Commander; Mr Robert Kirkwood, Chief of Mission Support; and Mr Alexander Rose, Chief of Staff/Principal Officer.