By Selorm Gbordidzi, ECOWAS Business News Report
The Rwandan Community in Ghana has held the 23rd commemorative event marking the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Dubbed Kwibuka23, the event was held under the theme, “Remember the Genocide against the Tutsi – Fight Genocide Ideology – Build on Our Progress”.
The annual event remembers the victims of the 100-day genocide which claimed over 800,000 Tutsi lives, following the death/assassination of Hutu President, Juvenal Habyarimana, after the plane in which he was travelling was shot down above Kigali airport.
The event was attended my members of the Rwandan community in Ghana, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the UN, and students of Ashesi University. It was marked by speeches from the Rwandan community and representatives from the International Community.
There was also a short documentary shown to highlight the horrors of the genocide; the unwillingness of the UBO to take concrete action to mitigate the violence as well as the heroics of poorly-equipped UN troops led by Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire and his deputy Maj. Gen. Henry Anyidoho.
There were speeches by various speakers, including the Zimbabwean ambassador to Ghana and Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps, Pavelyn Tendai Musaka, while decrying the horrors of the dark episode of Rwandan history, praised the resilience shown by Rwanda and the giant strides it had made as a peaceful, democratic, progressive state. She stated that, the strides “that Rwanda has made in pushing that agenda forward is demonstrated by the fact that RwandAir has established its presence in the African skies covering many routes.”
She also praised the dual achievements made in the gender-politics arena Rwanda has chalked since its return to democratic rule, touting its position as the country with most female MPs.
Mr. Girmay Haile of the Friends of Rwanda, in his speech, said, Rwandans “have decided to move on, and this where the difference is between who we are today, and where we want to be tomorrow.” He said that in spite of all the challenges facing the African continent, the Rwandan approach is worth emulating.
There was a short enactment by Students of Ashesi University, telling Rwanda’s history up to, and beyond the genocide of 1994. A candle was also lit to symbolize the new hope that Rwandans have.