19 September 2017

Rwanda: First Lady Jeannette Kagame Calls for an End to Extremism

Photo: The New Times
First Lady Jeannette Kagame.

First Lady Jeannette Kagame has said that the world is in need for peace, which is why stakeholders should do everything within their capacities to put an end to extremism and violence faced around the world.

Mrs Kagame was speaking at the Global Hope Coalition event, held on the margins of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Monday.

The event was held under the auspices of Global Hope Coalition-an international initiative providing a global platform to bolster the civil society campaign to fight violent extremism and intolerance and preservation of cultural heritage-on the topic: Women, Children and Trauma of Extremism.

This event was attended by First Lady Jeannette Kagame, First Lady of Mali Keita Aminata Maiga, as well as Director General of UNESCO - Irina Bokova, among many other participants.

"Our world is in desperate need of giving the right attention to extremism, as demonstrated by the violence, near and far from our homes," the First Lady said.

She shared Rwanda's history, adding light to the situation Rwanda faced in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, where over a million innocent lives were lost, while those that survived were left were left facing many traumas.

Thousands of women were raped and deliberately infected with HIV/AIDS needless to mention thousands of widows, orphans left behind and millions who fled to neighbouring countries, she said. This post-1994 era also saw a strong and defiant survival instinct contribute to the healing of our nation, the First Lady remarked.

"After the Genocide, we had to devise sound strategies, to help us all regain dignity and strength, and make 'Never Again' a reality," Mrs Kagame added.

The First Lady of Mali, Mrs Keita Aminata Maiga, shared her country's experience following the recent terrorist attacks noting that these have greatly affected education of the girl-child as well as hurting tourism to the country's world cultural heritage sites.

Irina Bokova , the Director General of UNESCO and Honorary President of Global Hope Coalition said that women and children are shouldering the heaviest of burdens of extremism and violence around the world, hence the need to fight for the "dignity" of these groups.

"Extremists hurt us at the very core of our identity," Bokova said.


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