"Acknowledge shared responsibility" and "shared action" against genocide

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In 1996 in Rwanda, wooden crosses mark the graves in a cemetery in the village of Nyanza in a rural area of Kigali, the capital. During the 1994 genocide, over 10,000 people were burned to death in Nyanza as they tried to escape towards Burundi. Photo: UNICEF/Giacomo Pirozzi

The world needs to "acknowledge shared responsibility" and commit to "shared action" to prevent people at risk from genocide.

That's part of the message from UN chief Ban Ki-moon on the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda, taking place on Thursday.

The day marks the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, during which Hutu and others who opposed the genocide were also killed.

Dianne Penn has more.

April 7 marks the 22nd anniversary of the genocide in the African Great Lakes country, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that it was a day to remember, but also to "renew our resolve" to prevent such atrocities from ever happening again.

He said the courage of those who survived the killing was an inspiration, as the region continues to face serious threats to its peace and security today.

He noted that the theme of this year's observance was "Fighting Genocide Ideology" and added that governments, the judiciary and civil society needed to stand firm everywhere against "hate speech and those who incite division and violence."

He commended UN Member States in the Great Lakes region for continued efforts to arrest fugitives of the genocide, and bring them to justice.

The history of Rwanda, he concluded, teaches the lesson that even as evil "resides in all societies," so too does the capacity to heal and reconcile.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'03"

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