Rwandan genocide survivors still need "strong" support from international community

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Twenty years after the Rwandan genocide many challenges remain and the country still needs strong support from the international community to assist the survivors.

That was the President of the General Assembly's message at the New York launch of "Kwibuka 20", a series of events marking 20 years since the genocide in Rwanda.

Kwibuka is the Kinyarwanda word for “remember” and the theme for this year is "Remember, renew, unite".

John Ashe said it was a time to honour those who perished but also to "look forward with hope and promise" to the future.

"Helping survivors reconstruct their shattered lives and mending the social fabric of the Rwandan society has been a task of tremendous proportions. Twenty years after the tragedy, many challenges remain and the country still needs strong support from the international community to assist victims in areas such as housing, healthcare, welfare or education. Yet at the same time, we can easily affirm that the unspeakable cruelty of the Rwandan genocide can only be matched by the courage and resilience of its people."

Mr. Ashe said he looked to the accomplishments and achievements of the Rwandan people over the past 20 years with respect and admiration.

Their commitment to rebuilding their country and restoring people's well-being speaks to their "indomitable spirit", he added.

More than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’37″

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