UN chief sees preventing future atrocities as best way to honor Rwandan genocide victims

10:00, April 08, 2010      

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Securing justice for the victims of genocide and preventing future atrocities are the best ways to honor the hundreds of thousands of people slaughtered in Rwanda 16 years ago, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday as the United Nations observes a global day of remembrance for the tragedy.

More than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and Hutus were murdered in the tiny African nation, mostly by machete, during a period of less than 100 days beginning in April 1994, reports said.

In a message to commemorate the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda, observed annually on April 7, Ban said the UN is fully committed to securing justice and to preventing future atrocities.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) delivered the first-ever verdicts in relation to genocide by an international court, he said. "These and similar actions from the halls of justice have sent a clear message to the genocidaires and would-be genocidaires. Simply put, their heinous crimes will not go unpunished."

Meanwhile, the secretary-general urged member states to cooperate with the tribunal, which is based in the Tanzanian city of Arusha, to arrest and hand over the remaining 11 fugitives as the court continues to deliver justice and ensure accountability.

"Together, let us pledge our determination to prevent genocide as the best way to remember those who lost their lives so tragically in Rwanda," said Ban.

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