American legislator wants US gov't to adopt correct name for Genocide against Tutsi #rwanda #RwOT


Trent Kelly, a member of the House of Representatives from Mississippi's 1st congressional district, confirmed on Monday, April 15, 2024, that he had introduced a resolution calling for the government to adopt the official definition of the Genocide, a move he said would ensure lessons from Rwanda's painful history are not forgotten.

'The facts are the facts, it's not the Rwandan Genocide it's the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. I call on the State Department administration to call it exactly what it is. I've introduced a house resolution calling for United States to adopt the official definition of Genocide.
We have a moral obligation to ensure the lessons of history are not forgotten and the voices of the victims are heard,' he said.

Kelly spoke at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C, where members of the Diplomatic corps, congress, academia, media, Rwandan community and friends of Rwanda gathered to honour the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The US has been in the spotlight several times due to its failure to clearly state in its messages, especially during the annual 'Kwibuka' commemorations, that the Tutsis were the targeted group in the 1994 genocide, as established by the Trial Chamber of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

Early this month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken came under fire from Rwandans on social media over his vague message to the country during the 30th commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

President Paul Kagame also condemned intentional vagueness in reporting the Genocide against the Tutsi during his speech at BK Arena on April 7, stating that it fuels denial.

'Rwandans will never understand why any country would remain intentionally vague about who was targeted in the genocide. I don't understand that. Such ambiguity is, in fact, a form of denial, which is a crime in and of itself, and Rwanda will always challenge it,' Kagame stated during Kwibuka30.

Corina Sanders, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs at the US Department of State, echoed Kagame's sentiments at Capitol Hill Monday, insisting that denial of the Genocide against the Tutsi distorts facts about the victims of the crimes.

'As we join in remembering the victims and reaffirm our support for the people of Rwanda in the continued efforts for the unity and renewal, we oppose any attempt to misrepresent the historical record for political purposes, in particular we strongly oppose any denial or minimization of the Genocide that targeted Tutsi,' Sanders stated.

The keynote speaker, Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, shared insights into how remembering and honoring the victims of the 1994 Genocide Against Tutsi serves as a crucial step in preventing future genocides.

'It's our solid duty to remember the victims, to honor their resilience and to ensure that their stories are kept in our collective consciousness. By doing so we not only pay tribute to those who suffered but also lay the ground for preventing such atrocities from happening again,' Ugirashebuja averred.

Congressman Jonathan Jackson, on his part, lauded President Kagame's leadership, for the transformation witnessed in the country over the last 30 years and his commitment to leading a united country.

'I commend President Paul Kagame for his leadership in guiding the country to heal, reconciliate and unite. His courage, dedication and ability to move the country from the Genocide to become one of the fastest growing countries in the world must be commended,' he said, adding, 'Rwanda continues to be a beacon for many African countries and across the world.'

The message was echoed by Congresswoman Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, who said, 'I was impressed by your administration's progress on the development front, combating corruption and improving governance. I commend President Paul Kagame and Rwandans for the leadership and commitment for building the Rwanda we see today that serves as a model to other countries.'

Trent Kelly is a member of the House of Representatives from Mississippi's 1st congressional district.

Wycliffe Nyamasege

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