from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – THE African Union (AU) is commemorating the 26th anniversary of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, where over 1 million people were killed in a space of 100 days.
It is one of the most brutal cases of manslaughter in memory. An estimated 500 000 women raped during the genocide.
This is the 12th year since the AU started the commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi but unlike previous occasions, this year memorial activities have been limited due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Commemorations are held under the theme, “Remember-Unite-Renew”.
“Although we will not be formally gathering at the AU Commission for this event as usual, I encourage you to commemorate this day from wherever you are,” AU commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said.
He noted the commemoration of the genocide this year assumed a special significance given the AU theme for 2020 is, “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development.”
“This commemoration should remind us of a past never to be repeated,” Mahamat said in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
The Rwandan genocide prevailed between April and July 1994.
It targeted the minority Tutsi but a moderate number of the Hutu were killed.
The scale and brutality of the killings shook the world but no country intervened.
Forces led by Paul Kagame, the current leader, waged a war against the government, culminating in the end of repressive rule under the then-President Juvenal Habyarimana.
Mahamat paid tribute to the leadership and the people of Rwanda for pulling the country out of the quagmire into one of the fastest developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
– CAJ News