Peacekeeping Police chiefs pay tribute to Genocide victims

On 25 May 2019 at 10:30

Heads of Police component from across all peacekeeping missions in Africa and other top UN officials yesterday visited Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Gisozi to pay respect to more than one million victims killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre is home to more than 250, 000 Tutsis killed in and around Kigali 25 years ago.

The Police Commissioners for the UN and AU backed missions and senior officials from the UN headquarters in New York are in Kigali since Wednesday for the 4th intermission retreat.

At the memorial centre, the peacekeepers were enlightened on the history of Rwanda; before, during and post-genocide.

The UN Police Advisor, Luis Carrilho, in his remarks, said that after learning a lot about Genocide against the Tutsi, he understood "why Rwandan Police officers perform well in peacekeeping."

“Working as UN Police Advisor, I know Rwandan Police peacekeepers are among the best-of-the-best in terms of promoting good community policing and they create an environment of living together where they are deployed... they learn from Rwanda’s experience,” Carrilho stated.

He added: “On one hand Rwanda is an example of how mankind can harm each other but on the other hand how you managed to overcome conflicts and genocide consequences is a good example of how people can live in harmony.”

Carrilho reiterated that Police should prevent any conflicts that may occur due to religious, political, economic, ethnic or geographical reasons and react when such heinous acts happen.

“Being a police officer is to serve the community. As United Nations police including Rwandan Police officers, we must prevent conflicts with early warning mechanisms. We must build sustainable peace worldwide, I hope that together as Police and our respective communities we can have a safe world,” he emphasized.

"Let us strive together to promote a peaceful, safer and better world to live in. I believe we can all have faith in the future and peace for all."

The top blue berets are in Rwanda for a three-day intermission retreat to address challenges faced in missions and promote UN best practices related to the protection of civilians, gender advocacy and quality training, among others.