Germany joined other nations worldwide to observe the 21st Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi. The capital Berlin hosted a commemoration service organised by the Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda, which took place at the church St. Thomas von Aquin, on April 9, 2015. The service was attended by representatives of the Federal Government, members of the diplomatic corps, friends of Rwanda as well as members of the Rwandan community.
In her remarks Rwanda’s Ambassador to Germany, H.E. Christine Nkulikiyinka, thanked the participants for joining Rwandans in remembering the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi. “Let us pray for the deceased today, remember them and give them honour and thus lend human dignity to the many innocent people who were so brutally murdered.”
The Rwandan envoy stressed that the denial of Genocide is a reality which needs to be fought with joint efforts. It should not be regarded as a task to cope with by Rwandans alone.
“To combat this propaganda (of denial), in a decisive way is the responsibility of all of us here. If we do not we pave in the long term, though passive, the way for another genocide”, Nkulikiyinka said.
The commemoration service was accompanied by musical performance of German and Rwandan youths who are members of an educational exchange program.
The service in Berlin followed other commemoration events that took place on April 7, 2015 in the city of Kaiserslautern. Here, Rwandan students organised a commemoration service, the screening of a documentary film and a discussion on the role of the international community during the genocide against the Tutsi.
Among the more than 100 guests were the Ambassador of Rwanda, H.E. Christine Nkulikiyinka, Günter Kern, State Secretary in the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Sports, Internal Affairs and Infrastructure, Dr. Richard Auernheimer, President of the Partnership Association Rwanda/Rhineland-Palatinate and Prof.Dr. Helmut J. Schmidt, President of the University of Kaiserslautern and other professors.
State Secretary Kern and Dr.Auernheimerboth expressed their solidarity with Rwandans during the national mourning and agreed that the international community still carries responsibility for protecting citizens against violence and atrocities as they occurred during the Genocide against the Tutsi. Speaking on behalf of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate, State Secretary Kern announced that his government would continue to accompany Rwanda on her exemplary journey of reconciliation and progress.
Ambassador Nkulikiyinka thanked the citizens of Rhineland-Palatinate for their continued support to jointly remember and fight the denial of Genocide.
The city of Kaiserslautern is home to more than 80 Rwandan students. Since 32 years Rwanda and the German state Rhineland-Palatinate have a partnership, with cooperation in the field of culture, education and vocational training.
Photos: Tobias Barniske