4/7 International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda by Sara Harvel

4/7  We Remember the Rwanda Genocide – International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda

Refugees wait behind barbed wire as they watch aid workers unload a new batch of supplies and food, at a refugee camp at the Kigera River border crossing with Rwanda. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

Today, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres encouraged the global community to remember and reflect on the Rwanda Genocide in order to take informed and purposeful steps towards transformation and increased human rights. 

“We saw what happened in Rwanda in 1994, and we know the horrific consequences 

when hate is allowed to prevail. Preventing history from repeating itself requires countering these hate-driven movements that have become a transnational threat. We must redouble our efforts, and forge a common Agenda, to renew and reinvigorate our collective actions going forward. In doing this, we must defend human rights and continue to push for policies that fully respect all members of society.”

The hate that led to genocide smoldered for decades. Colonial involvement stoked tensions between two ethnic groups, the Hutus and the Tutsis. The spark that caused the massive explosion of ethnic killing was when Rwanda President Juvénal Habyarimana’s plane was shot down on April 6, 1994. That event created an immediate power vacuum wherein mobs and violent parties called for the elimination of the Tutsis. 

100 Bloody days in Rwanda. Discrimination. Torture. Death. Most of the world stood by. 

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) addressed these crimes against humanity, locating, detaining, and prosecuting individuals responsible for these violent crimes. It was the first time since the Nuremberg trials to convict heads of state for crimes against humanity and and the first time in history that a court convicted members of the media for inciting genocide. The work of the ICTR advocates for international justice and human rights for all citizens of the world.  

We, at Dodd Impact, remember the victims of the Rwanda genocide. 

 

Bibliography

Kaphle, A. (2014, April 2). 11 powerful photos from the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/04/02/11-powerful-photos-from-the-aftermath-of-the-rwandan-genocide/

Rwanda Genocide: 100 Days of Slaughter. (2019, April 4). BBC. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-26875506

SECRETARY GENERAL’S MESSAGE ON INTERNATIONAL DAY OF REFLECTION ON THE 1994 GENOCIDE AGAINST THE TUTSI IN RWANDA. (2021, April 7). United Nations Regional Centre For the Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia. https://unrcca.unmissions.org/secretary-general%E2%80%99s-message-international-day-reflection-1994-genocide-against-tutsi-rwanda

https://unictr.irmct.org/

https://sfi.usc.edu/collections/rwandan