7 April 2019

Rwanda: Kwibuka25 - Russian Lawmakers Join Rwandans to Commemorate

Photo: New Times
President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame, flanked by first son, Ivan Kagame, are joined by Presidents Idriss Déby Itno of Chad, far left, and Denis Sassou Nguesso of Republic of Congo, far right, in laying wreaths and honouring victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, at Kigali Genocide Memorial, on Sunday morning.

The president of the Senate, Bernard Makuza, has asked Russian members of parliament to leverage the strength of their country into helping arrest genocide fugitives around the world, and bring them to justice.

A delegation of members of the Russian parliament is in the country to participate in the 25th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, a tragedy in which more than one million lives were lost.

Igor Morozov, the Deputy Chairperson of the Council of the Federation Committee on Science, Education and Culture said they were in the country for one goal: to join the people of Rwanda in the commemorative events of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

"And I want to stress is that the Russian Federation knows very well what it means," he said.

Morozov said that Russia is ready to support Rwanda in bringing to justice Genocide perpetrators, who are still moving freely around the world.

"We have already discussed this issue together with our counterparts during this meeting. That is why on its part, Russia has supported the resolution that was taken at the level of the General Assembly of the UN (to mark 7th April as the International day of commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi). We are open and ready to work together in order to bring to justice all those people responsible for the Genocide," he said.

On his part, Makuza said the visit showed that Russians stand together with Rwandans during these difficult times time.

"And we also don't forget that they played a crucial role so that judge Theodor Meron who freed some Genocide perpetrators would not be reappointed," he added.

Makuza said that he explained to the Russian lawmakers about how Rwanda was hurt by the Genocide, the repercussions it had on the region and the world, as well as how the nation is trying to rebuild.

He said that though Russia may not have genocide fugitives on its territory, but it can use its power at the UN Security Council to intensify the fight against Genocide ideology and denial.

"We asked them to work with us to fight the spread of Genocide ideology, starting with arresting the people that perpetrated the Genocide," he said, adding that he also requested them to look at how to they can put a law against ideology and denial in their country.

Russia is a major partner of Rwanda in areas like defense, education, and energy sector.

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