IRMCT Principals’ Joint Message – Genocide Commemoration on 7 April 2020
On this International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi
in Rwanda, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT)
remembers the men, women and children who were massacred by Hutu extremists
during the 100 bloody days of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
Twenty-six years have now passed since those darkest of times, during which
over 800,000 people lost their lives. This year, in the context of the
worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the IRMCT joins the Rwandan National Commission
for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) in its Commemoration events in Rwanda by
remote means, through messages on the IRMCT website and social media channels.
Today, 7 April 2020 marks twenty-six years since the commencement of the
killings. On this day, we the Principals of the IRMCT, on behalf of all of its
Judges and staff, mourn the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi in
Rwanda. We honour those who survived, and acknowledge their resilience and
determination. We salute the courage of those who provided refuge to the
persecuted, often at the cost of their own lives.
We recall also that, between its establishment in 1994 by the United Nations
Security Council and its closure in 2015, the International Criminal Tribunal
for Rwanda (ICTR) established - through ground-breaking jurisprudence - that
the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda is a fact beyond dispute.
The IRMCT continues the vital work of the ICTR and the fight for justice
through, amongst other functions: prioritising the tracking, arrest and
prosecution of the eight remaining fugitives indicted by the ICTR; providing
support to the victims and witnesses who courageously came forward to testify
before the ICTR; and supervising the enforcement of sentences of persons
convicted by the ICTR.
Today, the IRMCT reaffirms its commitment to justice and its solidarity with
the people of Rwanda. We remember the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and
the lives lost. We acknowledge the necessity for continued vigilance to ensure
that the atrocities of 1994 are not forgotten or repeated. We continue to seek
justice for the wrongs of the past while recognising that reconciliation and
unity can and indeed must shape the future. We press forward with a renewed
commitment to resist those who seek to promote violence and bloodshed. We
reiterate the importance of standing together as one people, one world,
dedicated to building a future in which all humankind may live freely,
together and without the burden of hatred and fear.
Please join us on this International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide
against the Tutsi in Rwanda.