Kwibuka30: Rwandans in Washington Honor Victims of Genocide Against Tutsi

Author: Brenda MIZERO
On:20/05/2024 15:09
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For the last 30 years, since the 1994 Genocide against Tusti was stopped, Kwibuka has become an annual global initiative to remember the victims, and honor the memory of over 1,000,000 women, children, and men who were brutally murdered during 100 days, and to support the survivors.

On May 18, 2024, the Rwandan Community in Washington State hosted the commemoration event, marking the 30th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. The event, part of the global #Kwibuka30 observance, aims to honor the victims, support survivors, and educate the public on the importance of remembrance and reconciliation.

Key officials and dignitaries participating in this solemn event included, the Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Rwanda to the US, the Mayor of Tukwila, Bellevue and SeaTac Cities Councilmembers, Suzanne Sinegal McGill - Co-Founder, Gashora Girls Academy & Rwanda Girls Initiative, Bellevue's Chief DEI Officer Dr. Whitehead and several African community leaders.

"The Rwandan Community in WA is a growing community known for strong bonds of unity and togetherness as well as upholding the Rwandan culture and values even with the integration into the American society", said Andrew Ndayambaje, President of the Rwandan Community in Washington State during his welcome remarks. He went on to reassure the genocide survivors of the community's consistent commitment to support and stand with them.

The event, among other activities, featured a walk to remember, testimonies from survivors, a commemorative drama performance, and a candle-lighting ceremony to remember the victims. All the activities underscored the powerful reminder of the atrocities faced by the Tutsi people and underscores the global responsibility to prevent genocide from happening ever again anywhere in the world.

"We come together to remember, to mourn, and to pledge that 'Never Again' will mean something more than words," said Bellevue Councilmember, Janice Zahn who spoke on behalf of the Mayor of Bellevue. "Our collective memory and commitment are crucial in fostering a world that values peace and justice," she added.

The Rwandan Deputy Chief of Mission, Arthur Asiimwe in his remarks, reminded the participants of the phases of genocide, from its planning to execution, and strongly called on them to use all available means to stand up against the current phase of denial. "As Rwandans, let us uphold our three values of Unity, Accountability, and Thinking Big." 

He continued, saying, "I think God saw the suffering and extermination that Rwandans went through and decided to compensate us and I think he did it throgh giving us good leadership." 

President of Ibuka Washington, Philipe Rwinkusi, requested a Memorial for the Genoside against Tutsi to be established in Washington. In response, City of Bellevue Council Member, Janice Zahn said they would hold discussions to determine the next steps. 

The Rwandan communities from Oregon and Washington State as well as the fondly known as Friends of Rwanda, jointly gathered together in this important event as a symbol of standing in solidarity with the Rwandan people and to promote a message of hope, resilience, and unity.

Rwandans in Washington mark 30th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi

Arthur Asiimwe, Deputy Head of Mission at the Rwandans Embassy in USA, beleives God saw Rwanda's suffering and compensated them with good leadership