Commemoration of Genocide against the Tutsi held at European Union level for first time

On 10 April 2024 at 11:24

The commemoration of the 1994 Genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi has been held in Brussels for the very first time at European Union level. The event, co-organised by the Rwandan Embassy in Brussels and the European External Action Service (EEAS), took place on 9 April 2024, at the EEAS headquarters and attracted more than a hundred members of the European institutions, including HRVP Josep Borrell, EU Member States and members of the diaspora.

The commemoration began with a speech by High Representative and Vice-President Josep Borrell, who stressed that reconciliation could only succeed on the basis of acknowledging what happened, holding the perpetrators accountable and preserving the memory of the victims.

During the event, a moment of silence was observed and the flame of hope was lit in honor of innocent lives that were lost during the genocide.

Esther Mujawayo, one of the founders of AVEGA, the association of widows of the genocide also shared poignant testimony.

"In 1994, on the hill where I grew up, all the Tutsis were killed. As widows, we ask ourselves: Who am I now that I have no one left? How do you stay alive? I always feel uncomfortable talking in places of power like the UN or the EU, because they knew what was going to happen and did nothing. If the right decisions had been taken, I wouldn’t have to be there, to testify," she said.

Ambassador Igor Cesar, Rwanda’s representative to the European Union, appealed against indifference, pleading for justice and calling on the European Union to stop such atrocities from happening.

The ceremony ended with a visit to the "Peace is our choice" exhibition, which looks at the historical roots of the genocide and the reconstruction of Rwanda.

The event was also marked by the lighting of flame of hope.
Ambassador Igor Cesar, Rwanda's representative to the European Union delivering remarks at the commemoration event.
A moment of silence was observed in honor of Genocide victims.
Esther Mujawayo, one of the founders of AVEGA, the association of widows of the genocide shared poignant testimony.