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Rwanda: world remembers victims of genocide on 25th anniversary

To mark the 25th anniversary of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, which will begin with 100 days of commemoration from today (7 April), Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said:

“On this terrible anniversary, we stand in solidarity with the victims, their families, and the survivors of the genocide in their pain and sorrow.

“Remembering these events must serve to reawaken our conscience and arouse our shared humanity. We are all human beings with the very same human rights and desires for a life free from abuse or repression.

“After the genocide in Rwanda, the world agreed that hateful, divisive politics must not be allowed to take root again. Yet time after time we have watched in mortified horror as more mass atrocities are committed.

“It is shameful that the conscience of world leaders is all often pricked only in the aftermath of massive atrocities; then as soon as the news moves on, politicians around the world go straight back to peddling the hateful and dehumanizing rhetoric that fuels these horrific incidents in the first place.”

The 1994 genocide

In just 100 days between April and July 1994, an estimated 800,000 people were killed in an organised campaign to eliminate the Tutsi ethnic group.

Community courts, known as Gacaca jurisdictions, tried more than two million people. The UN International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda convicted 62 people, including former high-ranking government officials and others who played a role as masterminds of the genocide.

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