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Obama on Rwandan genocide: ‘We must renew our commitment’

Barack Obama

Barack Obama: It is “Not enough to say ‘never again’” to Genocide

President Obama issued a statement Wednesday marking the 16th anniversary of the start of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. “It is not enough to say ‘never again,’” said Obama. “We must renew our commitment and redouble our efforts to prevent mass atrocities and genocide.”

His full statement:

“On this 16th commemoration of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, we devote our thoughts to those who were lost and honor those who survived.

More than 800,000 men, women, and children were killed and countless others continue to live with the pain and trauma of their memories and their loss.

It is not enough to say “never again.” We must renew our commitment and redouble our efforts to prevent mass atrocities and genocide.

We are inspired by the spirit of the Rwandan people to move forward and we stand with the people of Rwanda and the international community in commemorating the genocide.

“The United States is committed to its partnership with Rwanda and will continue to support efforts to promote sustainable development, respect for human rights, and sustainable peace in Rwanda and the region.”

[Politico]

2 comments

1 KAMUGISHA { 04.09.10 at 1:35 pm }

I wonder what he is going to do to foster democracy and freedom of association in Rwanda

2 I Nsengiyumva { 04.19.10 at 5:09 pm }

I salute the message of President Obama devoting his “thoughts to those who were lost and honor those who survived” on the

commemoration of the Rwandan genocide.
I thank him for the commitment of his government to support efforts to promote sustainable development, respect for human rights, and sustainable peace in Rwanda and the region.
The success indicators for such efforts as he said in his speech in Ghana are:
– strong parliaments and honest police forces; independent judges and journalists; a vibrant private sector and civil society. Those are the things that give life to democracy, because that is what matters in peoples’ lives”. he had said.
I strongly appeal to his administration to implement this commitment to support the people of Rwanda without fear or favour, and not the regime, in achieving these indicators that really matter in people’s lives.
It is open knowledge that these indicators are appallingly under threat in Rwanda. Rwandans deserve at least some crumbs from the change President Obama promised Americans and Africans.
It is already positive that the language he uses is more diplomatic and different from the language used by the State Department that declared that the US government “applauds Rwanda’s progress “and “continued success in their efforts in securing a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future”. We all know the efforts that the government is making for Rwanda “democratic future” ie muzzling the media, closing down political space, authoritarian rule, biggest rise in exports of political refugees.
Dear President Obama, Rwandans need your help to end the cycle of politically inspired violence to access and maintain power. No Rwandans should again be forced to leave their countries for fear of their lives. This is the time you can help and make a difference with previous administrations.

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