19 April 2013

East Africa: EAC Member States to Commemorate 1994 Genocide

Members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) have praised the resilience of Rwandans and passed a resolution demanding that the Council of Ministers designates April 7 as the region's day for commemorating the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The motion was passed Tuesday, 16th April during EALA's first plenary session that runs until April 26 in Kigali.

In the same motion moved by MP Abubakar Zein Abubakar from Kenya, the legislators also condemned the UN for refusing to heed to warnings in order to prevent the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that left more than a million Rwandans dead.

"We are moving this motion to celebrate the triumph of human spirit and resilience of the people of Rwanda," observed MP Abubakar in the same motion that proposed that the setting up of an International Trust Fund for Survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

They also suggested that a Regional Conference be organized next year to discuss the Genocide and its legacy as part of the 20th commemoration of the Genocide.

To prevent similar killings, the legislators resolved that EAC Partner States respect the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide by instituting mechanisms to bring to justice those suspected of participating in the Genocide.

They also want member states to enact respective laws preventing genocide denial and hate speech. The EAC Assembly coincides with the mourning period for Rwandan victims who perished in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Commenting on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the legislators supported the view that all its archives should be transferred to Rwanda.

Opening the same assembly on Tuesday, President Paul Kagame urged African states to support regional integration as a way of empowering Africans.

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, who is the Chairperson of the Summit of the EAC Heads of State, is today expected to deliver the annual State of EAC Address.

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