Genocide against Tutsi memorial unveiled in Germany

By Karirima Aimable Ngarambe
On 9 February 2024 at 04:15

As the 30th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi draws near, a significant milestone was achieved on February 6, 2024, with the inauguration of the first memorial in honour of victims of the Genocide in Lauchringen, Germany.

The ceremony, graced by Lauchringen Mayor Thomas Schäuble, President of Ibuka Germany Judence Kayitesi, and Rwanda’s Ambassador to Germany Igor Cesar, included the official laying of a wreath of flowers.

President of Ibuka Germany, Judence Kayitesi, described the day as "historic for German Remembrance," emphasizing the significance of inaugurating the memorial as preparations for the 30th commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi get underway.

She remarked, "Today, it’s possible to come to this place to remember and plant flowers commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Genocide Against the Tutsi."

Amb. Igor highlighted Germany’s commitment to globally acknowledging the memory of the Genocide, emphasizing its importance as a universally remembered historical event.

He underlined the inaugural memorial in Germany as a crucial step in preventing the recurrence of such atrocities anywhere in the world.

The event also featured discussions where participants shared their testimonies.

Rwanda currently has more than 20 Genocide memorials across various countries, spanning Europe, Canada, and Africa. These memorials contribute to the global awareness of the necessity to preserve the history of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

Besides, these memorials play a crucial role in supporting Genocide survivors residing in different countries, providing a space for remembrance and conveying a powerful message urging global efforts to prevent similar acts of extreme cruelty.

Many of these memorials were established through the advocacy of Ibuka organizations based in France.

These memorials are situated in various locations, including Cluny, Dieulefit, Bègles, Chalette-sur-Loing, Paris (Jardin de la Mémoire à Paris), as well as those at ‘Place Aminadabu Birara’ in Garges-lès-Gonesse, Lutterbach, Strasbourg, and Toulouse.

In Belgium, there exists a monument in Brussels known as "La Stèle Commémorative, érigée en mémoire des victims du génocide perpétré contre les Tutsis au Rwanda en 1994," located in the municipality of Woluwe Saint-Pierre. In the Charleroi region, a memorial named “Plaque commémorative du génocide perpétré contre les Tutsis au Rwanda entre le 7 Avril et et le 4 Juillet 1994 au Rwanda” stands.

The city of Mons hosts a monument titled “Stèle commémorative en mémoire des victimes du Génocide Perpétré contre les Tutsis et des dix militaires belges de la Mission de paix des Nations Unies au Rwanda en 1994,” while Liège has a monument called “La Stèle commémorative du génocide des Tutsis du Rwanda.”

In England, four monuments are located in the cities of Plymouth and Liverpool, with another memorial planned for Newcastle City next year. The first memorial was established in Liverpool in 2013, followed by a tree in Nottingham City Gardens in 2014, the Plymouth Memorial in 2015, a tree planted in Dumfries House in Scotland in 2022, and a memorial in Manchester in 2023.

Among those who actively participated in these initiatives are top officials. Notably, there is a tree considered a memorial, planted by King Charles III when he was a Prince. It was planted at Dumfries House in Scotland in commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Amb. Igor highlighted Germany's commitment to globally acknowledging the memory of the Genocide, emphasizing its importance as a universally remembered historical event.
Ilse Nirk is a friend of Rwanda and one of the individuals who played a significant role in the completion of the memorial.
The President of Ibuka-Deutschland, Judence Kayitesi delivering a speech at the event.
Josée Uwamahirwe and her husband, Uwe Korus shared testimonies.