The Rwandan embassy in Qatar honoured the memory of the victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, at an event on Thursday at the Qatar National Convention Centre, a statement said Friday.

Qatar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of Protocol director ambassador Ibrahim Fakhro, African Affairs Department assistant director Mubarak Mohammed al-Khalifa, Rwandan ambassador Igor Marara, other dignitaries and senior members from the Rwandan community in Qatar were present to remember more than one million lives lost during this tragic chapter of history.

"On April 7, 1994, a genocide was unleashed against the Tutsi minority of Rwanda, leaving over a million dead in just 100 days, in full view of the world. A minimal United Nations peacekeeping force stood by and watched the genocide unfold, after a decision was made by the Security Council to withdraw most of the peacekeepers," the statement explained.

"Kwibuka," meaning 'to remember' in Kinyarwanda, encapsulates the essence of this commemoration. During the event, the attendees took a minute of silence, followed by the symbolic act of lighting the flame of hope, reminiscent of the spirit of renewal that emerged from the ashes of tragedy.

"This yearʼs historic commemoration is an opportunity for Rwandans and the rest of the world to honour victims, comfort survivors, and reflect on Rwandaʼs journey of recovery, reconciliation, and resilience, with national unity at the core of the countryʼs stability and progress," the statement said.

In his remarks, ambassador Marara emphasised the importance of collective action in combating genocide ideologies. "As we reflect on the lessons learned from our past, we believe that fighting genocide ideologies of any form is a battle humanity should never stop fighting. We renew our commitment to actively cooperate with all stakeholders, promoting regional and international peace and security."

Malaika Uwamahoro, a Rwandan-born actress, poet and singer together with her team gave a performance, taking the audience through Rwanda's journey. Gloriosa Uwimpuhwe, a survivor of the 1994 Genocide Against Tutsi, shared her testimony during the event where she highlighted the pivotal role of unity in Rwanda's post-genocide development.

The event also featured an exhibition that served as a learning journey for participants. It provided insights into how the genocide against Tutsi was prepared and executed, its profound impact, and Rwanda's remarkable journey of perseverance, the embassy statement added.
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