Thursday, April 25, 2024

The Embassy of Rwanda Commemorated the Genocide against the Tutsi

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28th Commemoration of 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi

On April 7th 2022, Rwanda and the world marked the 28th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. The commemoration period, commonly referred to as Kwibuka (the Kinyarwanda word for remembrance), is an opportunity to pay homage to the victims as well as reflect on the transformational journey that Rwanda has been on for the last 28 years.

The Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda in the Netherlands started the 28th commemoration program on the 7th of April in The Hague. H.E. Ambassador Olivier Jean Patrick Nduhungirehe hosted the official Kwibuka28 commemoration at the Marriott Hotel in The Hague.

H.E. Mr. Andrei Yeudachenka, Ambassador of Belarus and H.E. Ambassador Olivier Jean Patrick Nduhungirehe of Rwanda.

Themed “Remember – Unite – Renew”, the commemoration was an occasion for Rwandans from all walks of life to pay tribute to the more than million innocent lives lost.

H.E. Ms.Elizabeth Ward Neiman, Ambassador of Panama and the Ambassador of Rwanda.


  • Introduction by Mr. Pascal Murasira, Master of Ceremony
  • Lighting of Urumuri Rutazima, the never-ending light of hope (by the four speakers)
  • Minute of silence
  • Welcome remarks by Mrs. Saskia Bruines, Deputy Mayor of The Hague
  • Remarks by Mrs. Christine Safari, Chairperson of IBUKA-Netherlands
  • Video of the testimony by Mrs. Immaculée Mukamuhirwa, Genocide survivor
  • Remarks by Mrs. Kitty van der Heijden, Director General for International Cooperation in the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Musical interlude
  • Keynote address by Mr. Olivier J.P. Nduhungirehe, Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to the Kingdom of the Netherlands
H.E. Mr. Jorge Skinner-Klée Arenales, Ambassador of Guatemala signing the special Kwibuka 28th commemoration book.

Mrs. Saskia Bruines, Deputy Mayor of The Hague:

“We will never be able to rid ourselves of the memories of the horrific events in 1994. Luckily, they have been a source of inspiration for many to do good. So that we never forget what happened then, and to prevent such atrocities from occurring again.”

Mrs. Saskia Bruines, Deputy Mayor of The Hague.

“See the creation of the International Criminal Court by national governments in 1998. Or the hundreds of NGOs around the world who are active in the fight against impunity. Seeking to promote accountability for past atrocities in places emerging from a violent past. I am proud that many of them are based here in The Hague.”

Mrs. Christine Safari, Chairperson of IBUKA-Netherlands

Mrs. Christine Safari, Chairperson of IBUKA-Netherlands:

“After more than two decades since the Genocide happened, we pay homage and magnify ours who were massacred because they were born Tutsis. We must console and comfort those who have lost loved ones, orphans, widowers and those without family so that they are not overwhelmed with grief because they need reassurance to give them courage and the confidence to continue to resist this hypocritical, unjust, unstable and insatiable mode.”

“In this long journey, we must also reflect on the path already traveled in the reconstruction of Rwanda, to restore the dignity of Rwandans, to ensure our development while consolidating the achievements of our progress.”

Mrs. Saskia Bruines, Deputy Mayor of The Hague.

Mrs. Kitty van der Heijden, Director General for International Cooperation in the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

“Since 1994, Rwanda’s government and people have done a tremendous job of rebuilding their country. I’m proud that the Dutch government has assisted Rwanda in that process. Immediately after the genocide, Rwanda and the Netherlands became development partners. The Netherlands was a major donor supporting the rebuilding of Rwanda’s justice sector. We took on this role because we believe there can be no lasting peace without justice, and respect for human rights.”

“Our countries’ bilateral development cooperation will come to a close at the end of this year. It’s impressive that Rwanda has set itself the goal of becoming independent of foreign aid. Looking ahead, we will focus on stepping up mutual trade and investment. Of course, our future relationship will continue to involve a frank and constructive dialogue about justice and human rights. In fact, trade and investment will prosper only if the principles of the rule of law are adhered to, and human rights are respected. I look towards our common future with hope and confidence.”

H.E. Olivier J.P. Nduhungirehe, Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda.

H.E. Olivier J.P. Nduhungirehe, Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to the Kingdom of the Netherlands:

“The Government of Rwanda renews its gratitude to the Kingdom of the Netherlands for its unwavering support since 1994. A friend in need is a friend indeed, and in the aftermath of the genocide, the Government of the Netherlands was at the forefront in supporting Rwanda in one the most critical areas after such tragedy: the justice sector. It is precisely when victims were crying out for accountability that most professionals of justice had been killed or had fled the country and that most infrastructures of justice and their equipment were destroyed or stolen.”

“The Dutch cooperation in that regard was quite comprehensive and decisive. Courtrooms and correctional services were rebuilt, equipped and modernized; judges, prosecutors and lawyers were trained, including here in the Netherlands, and a number of genocide suspects who had fled to this country were investigated, arrested, prosecuted or extradited. I can confidently say that the Kingdom of the Netherlands is one of the countries in Europe that have done the most in holding genocide suspects accountable. As we celebrated, last year in June 2021, the 25th anniversary of the Dutch-Rwandan cooperation in the justice sector, allow me to once again convey our satisfaction for the achievements registered in that regard.”

“My only hope is that the remaining genocide fugitives who still live and are currently investigated in the Netherlands will soon be brought to book. This is critical because most genocide suspects who fled abroad, including in this country, are fuelling genocide ideology with impunity since 1994 and are even engaging in subversive activities, supporting armed groups operating in the neighbouring countries, with a view to “finishing the job”, as they once claimed.”

“On Rwanda’s side, as a lesson learned from the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, our country became committed to peacekeeping and to the protection of civilians around the world. In that regard, our country is regularly ranked among the top five UN troops and police contributing countries globally, not to mention that our forces are also deployed in Mozambique and Central African Republic on a bilateral basis to fight terrorism and armed groups.”

“I wish to call on all of us to remember, unite and renew, but most of all to continue reflecting on lessons learned from the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, especially in this troubled world of armed conflicts and related mass atrocities. As we are gathered here in The Hague, “The City of Peace and Justice”, we should speak up and act, as diplomats, government’s officials and citizens of the world, against hate, xenophobia, racism, antisemitism and all other evils that could lead to genocide.”

Kwibuka 28th
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