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The Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide was held on Friday (April 11) in Addis Ababa with the theme: “Remember, Unite, and Renew”. The aim of the ceremony was a memorial to the nearly one million people who lost their lives in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and applaud the commendable efforts of the people of Rwanda in their march towards a new, unified and prosperous country. The ceremony was attended by Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Dr. Dlamini Zuma, AU Commissioner, ambassadors from various countries residing in Addis Ababa, representatives of international organizations and non-governmental organizations, Rwandan Community living in Ethiopia and other participants from different countries.

The ceremony was marked by the relay of a “flame of remembrance” and the blessings of religious leaders. On the occasion, Dr. Tedros noted that the 1994 Rwandan Genocide was one of the “darkest chapters in the history of mankind.”He extended his heartfelt sympathy and solidarity to the victims, the people and the Government of Rwanda. He also emphasized that Ethiopia would always be supportive of the people of Rwanda in a bid to make greater contribution for peace and development in Africa and the world. He added that remembering of the victims of the genocide would help the world to draw a lesson to prevent the occurrence of conflicts, atrocities and crimes against humanity in Africa and other parts of the world. He urged that African countries must coordinate and join their efforts to avert the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan and Central African Republic. He stressed that the international community should stand comited to support the ‘never again’ campaign against genocide in Africa based on the principle of mutually cooperative partnership.  

The commemoration would have immense importance to realize the commitment of Africa to avert any further crimes against humanity, he underlined. He appreciated the role played by the People and the Government of Rwanda in charting a new route for peace, reconciliation, stability, and development of the country. He hailed that the Government of Rwanda had made huge leaps in fighting poverty and transforming the lives and livelihoods of its citizens over the last two decades. He further reiterated that Rwanda has become a symbol of national reconciliation and healing and added that Rwanda showed Africa the pivotal importance of home-grown remedies to encumbrances to the path towards sustainable peace, prosperity and tranquillity.

Dr. Dlamini Zuma told the conference that Rwanda chose the right avenue in engaging its entire people to participate in national reconciliation and healing within the spirit of mutual benefit to ameliorate their common future and own their common destiny. The event was organized by the Department of Political Affairs of the African Union Commission in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda.

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