Today, the United States of America honors the victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
As the world commemorates 18th anniversary 1994 Rwandan Genocide, the United States joins countries throughout the world to collectively remember the approximately 800,000 Rwandan men, women and children were brutally murdered in Rwanda’s genocide 18 years ago within 100 days.
On his press statement, Acting Spokesperson Mark C. Toner said the United States offers its heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims and to the survivors who suffered through one of the most horrific events in history.
“This is a solemn day of remembrance. We commemorate those who were lost.” -Mr. Toner
The world is also are inspired and encouraged by Rwandans’ relentless determination to move beyond this tragedy to rebuild their country and reestablish peace and hope for their children, Mr. Toner cited.
Since the genocide, Rwanda has made remarkable strides in health, education and agriculture, and has done much to promote regional stability and good governance, Mr. Toner noted.
He stresses that once a country steeped in violent conflict, Rwanda has emerged as an important contributor to the global economy.
In global peace, Rwanda is one of the largest and most effective peacekeepers in the world.
Rwanda continues to deliver impressive results in economic growth and development, and the U.S-Rwanda Bilateral Investment Treaty that entered into force in January promises to further open avenues for investment, trade and ties between our countries, he added.
“The United States affirms its commitment to continue to work together with the people and Government of Rwanda to ensure that freedom, justice and peace are respected and enjoyed by all.” -Mr. Toner
In December 2011, two key organizers of the Rwandan genocide in 1994 were sentenced to life in prison by the United Nations tribunal dealing with war crimes in the country.
Edouard Karemera and Matthieu Ngirumpatse, both senior members of the ruling party in Rwanda during the genocide, were found guilty of genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, extermination as a crime against humanity, rape and sexual assault as crimes against humanity, and killings as causing violence to health and physical or mental well-being.
The International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda (ICTR) delivered its judgment after finding that both men were members of a “joint criminal enterprise” to destroy the Tutsi population of Rwanda, and consequently liable not only for their own criminal acts and omissions, but also for those committed by others within the common purpose of the enterprise.
ICTR also ruled that they bear extended liability for the widespread rapes and sexual assaults of Tutsi women and girls, which were a foreseeable consequence of their joint criminal enterprise.
The 1994 Rwandan genocide claimed 800,000 lives. Mostly those belonging to the Tutsi tribe were slaughtered but machetes also slashed many moderate Hutus who called for peaceful coexistence. The official history claims that the genocide, like tsunamis or tornadoes, could have neither be predicted nor prevented.