15 May 2019

Rwanda: Govt Welcomes France's Decision to Dedicate Day for Observance of Genocide Against Tutsi

Photo: New Times
Genocide memorial in Kigali (file photo).

Jean Damascène Bizimana, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), Tuesday welcomed the French government's decision to designate a day to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

It follows news that the French government had declared April 7 as a day to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

A commemoration ceremony will be organised in the capital, Paris, every year on the same date the Genocide was set in motion by an extremist regime that was backed by the then French government. The killings lasted 100 days claiming a million lives.

Bizimana said: "It is a good decision that we commend and we thank all who played a role in making this happen, including Ibuka-France and others."

"This is a decision that abides by what was requested by the United Nations that the date of April 7 be observed as the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide against the Tutsi".

Bizimana added: It will, therefore, make things easy for people [in France] organising commemoration activities."

In the decree, Paris further noted that a similar ceremony can be organised in each department at the initiative of the prefet [head of Prefecture], a senior local government official in France.

The French Prime Minister is responsible for the execution of the decree which was published in the official gazette of the French Republic.

The new development follows the decision last month by President Emmanuel Macron to appoint a team of researchers and historians to look into archives of France's actions in Rwanda during the Genocide.

Last month, the Canadian Parliament unanimously adopted a motion designating April 7 as the International Day of reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda.

In 2013, the Canadian city of Toronto dedicated April 7 to marking the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

In December 2003, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution designating April 7 as the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide and encouraged Member States, organisations of the UN system and other relevant international organisations, as well as civil society organisations, to observe the International Day, in memory of the victims of the Genocide.

Last January, the UN made an amendment on the title of the annual observance, designating April 7 as the International Day of reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

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