UN chief pays tribute to people of Rwanda on 20th anniversary of genocide

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The ability of the people of Rwanda to unite and show that reconciliation is possible even after what has been described as "a monumental tragedy" is an inspiration to the world.

That's what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in his message to mark the 20th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide on 7 April.

Starting on that day in 1994 Hutu extremists slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in a period of 100 days.

The United Nations has named 7 April as the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide.

Secretary-General Ban thanks people around the world for joining a series of events known as "Kwibuka 20" launched earlier this year to mark the day.

Kwibuka" means "remember" in Kinyarwanda, the country's language and Mr. Ban recalls that the theme for this year's commemoration is to "remember, unite, renew".

"We will always remember the more than 800,000 innocent people so brutally murdered as we pay tribute to the bravery and resilience of the survivors. We draw inspiration from the ability of the Rwandan people to unite and show that reconciliation is possible even after a monumental tragedy. And we pay tribute to their determination to renew their country and pave the way to a secure and prosperous future." 

The Secretary-General says he is honoured to be invited to take part in the commemoration and mark this solemn moment with the people of Rwanda.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations

Duration:  1’36″

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