IRMCT Principals’ statement on the occasion of the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, 7 April 2021
On this International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), its Judges and staff join the Rwandan people to remember the over 800,000 men, women and children who were murdered in just 100 days. Together, we reflect on the dangers of discrimination, hate and genocide ideology. And together, we renew our commitment to peace, reconciliation and the prevention of genocide.
The survivors and families of the victims must also be at the centre of our attention. For them, the genocide is not the past, but ever present, from the trauma they still suffer, to the loved ones who will never return but will never be forgotten.
As we know, to truly commemorate the victims and survivors, our thoughts on this day must be reflected in action every day.
At the IRMCT, we continue the fight for justice and to hold accountable those responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. We took an important step forward in our work with the arrest of Félicien Kabuga in May 2020, after more than twenty-two years as a fugitive. His trial by independent and impartial judges is among our most important responsibilities. At the same time, we also continue to support national judiciaries in Rwanda and around the world who remain committed to bringing alleged génocidaires to justice.
All of us also share an obligation to promote the truth about the genocide and stand against genocide denial. In every classroom, young people must be educated about the consequences of discrimination and hate, and taught to be vigilant against genocide ideology. In every part of the public sphere, we must reject genocide denial and all attempts to erase the victims and their suffering. Today, as much as ever before, we must speak with one voice to defend the truth and ensure that genocide denial does not take root in hearts and minds.
We mark this day to remind ourselves of the tremendous suffering of so many innocent civilians, and the world’s failure to prevent it. But equally, we join together to rededicate ourselves to building a better future globally through reconciliation, justice and respect for human rights. On behalf of the IRMCT, we express our heartfelt support to the people of Rwanda and reaffirm our pledge to honour the memory of the victims by securing justice on their behalf.