Rwanda’s High Commissioner to the UK, Ernest Rwamucyo, has said that 17 years on, Rwanda’s development momentum for change cannot be stopped.
Rwamucyo made the remarks during a commemoration service in honour of the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in London on Thursday.
The event was organised in London by the mission in conjunction with the Southward Cathedral and the Rwandan Community in UK.
The service, which took place at the Southwark Cathedral in London, was characterised by testimonies from Genocide survivors, songs reminding the world of the never again commitments, lighting of candles and observation of a minute’s silence.
The High Commissioner stressed that the Genocide should never have happened, noting that it could have been prevented.
“We should remember the victims while making unequivocal commitment from each one of us to make our individual and collective commitment to initiatives and actions that aim to prevent atrocities like this happening anywhere,” Rwamucyo urged.
He underscored that remembering, while committing to forgive those who sincerely seek to be forgiven, has been a key consideration in Rwanda’s search for unity and reconciliation.
The envoy reiterated that the Rwandan people, today, are very positive and optimistic about the future.
He cited an example of children, who were born after the Genocide, who recently qualified to play in the under-17 World Cup in Mexico. He said that this was the first time in history that Rwanda would take part in a such a prestigious tournament.
The High Commissioner concluded his remarks by paying tribute to the late Venerable Reverend Colin Slee who died late last year.
Slee was instrumental in establishing a relationship between Southwark Cathedral and Rwanda. He initiated the project to construct a permanent Genocide monument in London to be built at Southwark Cathedral and establish a scholarship fund for Rwandan students.
The Dean of Southwark Cathedral, Rev. Canon Andrew Nunn, said that despite the world’s commitment to the ‘Never Again’ call, atrocities are being committed elsewhere on the African continent.
During the service, the acting Dean of the cathedral, Bishop Kenneth Barham narrated to the congregation how Rwanda has picked itself from a failed state to the most improved country, not only in Africa, but in the world.
The service was attended by UK Government officials, parliamentarians, members of the civil society, friends of Rwanda and members of the Rwandan community in the United Kingdom.