Friday, December 9, 2022

Remembrance / Kwibuka

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DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE “For diplomats, by diplomats” Reaching out the world from the European Union First diplomatic publication based in The Netherlands Founded by members of the diplomatic corps on June 19th, 2013. Diplomat Magazine is inspiring diplomats, civil servants and academics to contribute to a free flow of ideas through an extremely rich diplomatic life, full of exclusive events and cultural exchanges, as well as by exposing profound ideas and political debates in our printed and online editions.

By  Alexander W. Beelaerts van Blokland, Justice (Judge) in the Court of Appeal and Special Advisor International Affairs of the Municipality of The Hague

This year it is hundred years ago that World War I started as we all know. As you might know The Netherlands were not involved directly.  But some of the remembrances take place here as well. On Friday April 25th I was present at ANZAC Day: on April 25th 1915 the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) entered –very far from their homeland- World War I in the Turkish peninsula Gallipoli (Gelibulo in Turkish) in one of the most terrible fights of that horrible war.     Ever since the Australians and New Zealanders have their ANZAC Day on April 25th all over the world and so that happens in The Hague every year as well. At Westduin Cemetery. An impressive ceremony during which the Australian ambassador H.E. Mr. Neil Mules AO told the many Australian and New Zealanders in The Netherlands as well as many ambassadors and several Dutch such as former Defence minister Hans Hillen, representatives of the Dutch armed forces, the ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Royal Household, that Australia lost 8.700 men in that fight and New Zealand 2.700. In his speech the Turkish ambassador H.E. Mr. Sadik Arslan told us that even 250.000 Turkish soldiers died in only that fight that lasted several weeks against many more countries than Australia and New Zealand alone. It must have been a nightmare in spring of 1915.

Much more recently another nightmare took place with even almost one million deaths: the Rwanda genocide in 1994. And that nightmare has also its yearly remembrance –  in Rwanda called: kwibuka – and again in the Netherlands that happens in The Hague. I was present on Monday April  7 in The Hague City Hall . The Rwandan ambassador H.E. Mr. Jean Pierre Karabanga told us that in hundred days almost one million Tutsis have been killed by fellow Rwandans, almost 10.000 a day……… and the world did nothing.

a.beelaerts@planet.nl

 

 

 

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