Brussels, 8 April 2016/ ACP: An important gathering at the ACP House in Brussels on 7th April, hosted by the ACP Secretary General H.E. Dr. Patrick Gomes in the presence of ACP diplomats, the Rwandan diaspora in Belgium and friends of Rwanda, paid tribute to the victims of genocide that took place in Rwanda in 1994.

After calling for a minute of silence to remember the tragic loss of more than a million lives over the course of 100 days, the Secretary General condemned the genocide, committed under the hand of violent extremists, as a heinous crime against humanity.

“As we commemorate this day, we stand united against oppression, injustice an inhumanity perpetrated against groups of people, as well as individuals, anywhere in the world,” stated the Secretary General.

Speaking on behalf of the Committee of African, Caribbean and Pacific Ambassadors in Brussels, the Ambassador of Kenya H.E. Johnson Weru applauded the resilience and courage of the Rwandan people, as well as their capacity for reconciliation and recovery from the dark experience of genocide, to become one of the fastest developing economies in the region.

Two decades after the genocide, Rwanda celebrates remarkable levels of development, with GDP rising an average of 8% per year from 2001 to 2014. Rwanda is also a key global contributor to the United Nations peace-keeping processes, currently ranked 5th in the world and 3rd in Africa.

In his address, the Ambassador of Rwanda H.E. Olivier Jean Patrick Nduhungirehe noted the persistent phenomenon of negationism, and called for the resolute commitment of the international community to protect populations threatened by extermination.

Participants at the meeting voiced their solidarity and on towards the Rwandan people who, after 22 years, have managed to rebuild and make strides in good governance, peace, security, economic growth and investment promotion.

The ACP Secretariat reaffirmed its compassion and solidarity with the Government and People of Rwanda, and urged continued vigilance and strengthened cooperation to ensure that the atrocities of genocide are not repeated.

(Photos from top:
Ambassador Olivier Nduhungirehe of Rwanda;
Participants at the commemoration event;
Above, from right: Ambassador Johnson Weru of Kenya, ACP Secretary General Dr. Patrick Gomes, Ambassador Olivier Nduhungirehe, and ACP Assistant Secretary General in charge of Political Affairs and Human Development Ambassador Leonard Ognimba)

– G.Z/ ACP Press