Commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide at the ACP General Secretariat (Brussels April 7th, 2013) Statement of the Secretary General Hon. Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni Official Statement of the ACP Group
In a special meeting held at the ACP General Secretariat in Brussels on April 7th, 2013 to commemorate the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the ACP Group has released a special declaration. In his speech, the ACP Secretary General, HON. ALHAJI MUHAMMAD MUMUNI declared:
“It is important that we continue to commemorate this day in order not to forget one of the most heinous crimes against humanity perpetrated by one group of people against another.
As we take time out to commemorate this day, we honour the lives of the nearly one million people who were senselessly murdered, and the many more who survived with painful physical and psychological scars they carry to this day.
This terrible tragedy occurred 19 years ago, but its effects are still being felt today by its survivors. The ramifications are still evident in the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa.”
The Secretary General has paid tribute to the Government and people of Rwanda for the courage and resilience that they have demonstrated to rebuild and rehabilitate their country socially, politically and economically, as well as to mend the deep ethnic-based differences that were manipulated by the perpetrators of the genocide. He affirmed the ACP Group is convinced that Rwanda’s society has now firmly embarked on the path to peace and serenity.
“This does not mean, however, that we can let down our guard and relax our struggle to eradicate any phenomenon that could stoke the fires of an eventual return to hatred and intolerance”, he added.
To conclude, he insisted “NEVER AGAIN, I say! For this to become a reality, we must resolutely attack the root causes of the genocide, namely hatred, intolerance, racism, fundamentalism and tyranny, as well as poverty and exclusion. I call on all States, therefore, to remain mobilised and to strengthen cooperation so as to meet the challenges and eradicate these scourges that can serve as weapons of mass destruction.”
DECLARATION OF THEACP GROUP OF STATES ON
THE OCCASION OF THE 19th ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1994 GENOCIDE IN RWANDA
Nineteen years ago, following the acts of barbarism that plunged Rwanda into the horror that was 1994, the memory of the genocide remains vividly etched in our collective memory and calls for us to remain vigilant in the face of such an unspeakable crime which, despite international efforts to ensure that it “never happens again,” has still not yet been definitively removed from this world.
Fully aware of the duty of the international community to keep this memory alive, the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States reaffirms its compassion, solidarity and support for the Government and people of Rwanda by commemorating, with them, this day of remembrance in honour of the victims of this heinous crime against humanity.
In keeping with the decision of the 79th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers held in Gaborone, Botswana, on 4 and 5 May 2004, which called for 7 April to be commemorated as the day of remembrance of the Rwandan genocide, the ACP Group:
- Pays tribute to the untiring efforts of the Government and people of Rwanda to close this sad chapter in Rwanda’s history, and to resolutely continue in their efforts to build a peaceful, fair, prosperous and democratic society;
- Supports all initiatives by the Government of Rwanda to rehabilitate the victims of the Rwandan genocide, restore their dignity and ensure their well-being;
- Encourages the international community to continue its battle against impunity, notably by setting up mechanisms for legal cooperation with Rwanda to track down the alleged perpetrators of this genocide, wherever they may be;
- Welcomes the contribution of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and commends its contribution to unearthing the truth about this horrible episode in human historyand fully supports the Mechanism created by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1966 (2010) to carry out the residual functions of the ICTR after its closure;
- Notes with regret the persistent trend towards denial and revisionism, and its potential danger of sparking a repeat of the atrocities, and reiterates its appeal to all ACP States, the European Union and entire international community, to adopt legal instruments designed to prohibit this phenomenon in all its forms;
- Renews its support for the Government and people of Rwanda in their continued efforts to ensure that the memory of the innocent victims of the genocide is honoured, condemns any act that desecrates the genocide memorials, and urges all States to ensure due protection and respect for these sites;
- Undertakes to combat the root causes of violence and genocide, in particular hatred, intolerance, racism, fundamentalism and tyranny, and calls on ACP States to pursue and strengthen their cooperation in order to eradicate these social ills, which constitute fertile ground for genocides and other widespread human rights violations; and
- Urges all ACP States to hold, on this 19th anniversary of remembrance, deep reflections on the causes of the genocide and on the lessons to be learnt in order to strengthen their national systems with a view to preventing any such atrocities in the future.
Brussels, 7 April 2013