National diversity should be a source of strength for nation-building and sustainable development, Amb. Hope Tumukunde Gasatura, Rwanda's Permanent Representative to African Union, has said.
She was speaking at the 23rd commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi last Friday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Rwandan embassy in Ethiopia, together with the African Union Commission, organised the solemn event.
The 23rd commemoration event was held at the headquarters of the AU and was also attended by the Rwandan community living in Ethiopia, members of the Diplomatic Corps and friends of Rwanda.
Amb. Tumukunde, Thomas Kwesi, AU Deputy Chairperson, and the AU Political Affairs Commissioner Samate Cessouma Minata lit together the Flame of Remembrance "Urumuri Rutazima"
Amb. Tumukunde commended the strong commitment of the AUC and the solidarity shown by the Addis-based international community. She reminded that the whole world has a responsibility to learn from what happened in Rwanda.
"Diversity has continued to become a source of conflict and killings instead of being a source of strength for nation-building and sustainable development. We should resist any move by those who want to take advantage of the diversity in our countries to fuel ethnic tensions," she said.
Speaking at the event, the AU Deputy Chairperson, Kwesi, said that "7th of April is an awakening date that continues to stir our resolve to the value of life and humanity and renew our collective commitment to uphold human rights."
His remarks also included a message of hope, citing Rwanda as a country that has turned a crisis into opportunity.
The ceremony was concluded by a minute of silence in the memory of the more than 1 million souls that perished in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Later on that evening, members of the Rwandan community in Ethipia gathered at the Chancery of the Embassy for a night vigil.