Rwanda genocide remembered at UN

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Rwanda. 7 April is the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda. Photo: UN/Rwanda Outreach Programme (file)

The international community has been urged by the UN Secretary-General to take timely action to prevent atrocities against human beings.

In his message to mark the genocide that began in Rwanda on 7 April 1994, Ban Ki-moon said it is critical for the maintenance of peace and security to act before situations deteriorate.

The Secretary-General added that the annual observance of the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda is all the more meaningful this year which marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

Cathrine Hasselberg reports.

In his message, Ban Ki-moon said the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda offers an opportunity to honour the memory of the more than 800,000 people who were systematically killed across Rwanda in less than three months.

The overwhelming majority of the victims were Tutsis but they also included moderate Hutus, Twas and others.

Ban Ki-moon called for using the 70th anniversary of the United Nations to look back on the past, squarely confront the challenges of the present and renew the collective resolve to prevent such atrocities from happening again.

He deplored  the conflicts and atrocities in many parts of the world that continue to divide communities, killing and displacing people, undermining economies and destroying cultural heritage.

Mr. Ban pointed out that many countries now face grave security threats and people are being subjected to the brutality of violent conflicts and the indignities of poverty.

He said discrimination persists in societies torn apart by war, as well as in democracies that largely enjoy peace.

Cathrine Hasselberg, United Nations.

Duration: 1′ 02″

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