International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Rwanda Genocide - 2020
The 7th of April of every year, the world remembers the tragic consequences of human cruelty committed in Rwanda more than two decades ago. This day marks the start of the horrifying genocide of the Tutsi minority.
The genocide was set into motion following the death of the Rwandan President at the time Juvénal Habyarimana. The President's death was used to push forward a horrifying campaign of slaughter, a premeditated attempt to eliminate a whole group of people. Over a period of approximately 100 days, more than 800,000 innocent and defenseless Tutsi were systematically slaughtered. This heinous crime perpetrated by ethnic Hutu extremists, including Hutu-controlled government and allied militias, targeted mostly people of the Tutsi tribe.
On the 23rd of December 2003, the United Nations General Assembly, based on the values of shared responsibility and global solidarity, adopted a decision Resolution 58/234 designating 7th of April as the International Day of Reflection of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, at its fifty-eighth session. Every year since then the United Nations has organised commemorative events at the headquarters and offices around the world.
In order to honor the memory of innocent individuals brutally murdered in 1994, this day presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on the factors that led to these heinous crimes. GIHR would like to take this moment, on this day of mourning, to remember the innocent lives lost and to remind the world of the atrocious consequences of dehumanization and discrimination in the absence of unity.
With that being said, The Geneva Institute for Human Rights, within the framework of its interest in ensuring compliance with the rules of international humanitarian law, urges governments and states to tighten the rule of law and promote values of justice, as well as enact national laws that ensure the prosecution of perpetrators of such crimes.
We must stand firmly together, now more than ever, against xenophobia, discrimination, related intolerance and say no to hate speech. Only if we stand together in solidarity and renew a collective pledge of “never again”, can we prevent such horrible manifestations of human cruelty to present itself once again.