Survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi want Blinken to retract vague 'Kwibuka30' statement #rwanda #RwOT


Through Ibuka, an umbrella organization of survivors, associations, concerned individuals, and other organizations that fight against the 1994 atrocities, the survivors took issue with Blinken's statement posted on X platform on April 7, terming it as shocking, offending, and misleading.

According to Ibuka, Blinken's post failed to highlight the specific target of the 1994 Genocide â€" members of the Tutsi community â€" who were marked for extermination, as established by the Trial Chamber of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

Blinken had, in a blanket statement that drew condemnation, said the Genocide targeted the Tutsis, Hutus, and Twas in Rwanda.

'Honorable Secretary of State Blinken, in not explicitly stating that the genocide specifically targeted Tutsi, your statement obscures the primary, intended victims. While some Hutus and Twas also lost their lives, they were not the primary targets; the genocide overwhelmingly aimed at exterminating the Tutsi population. Indeed, it was extremist Hutu factions who orchestrated these atrocities,' the letter signed by senior officials of the organization reads in part.

The survivors lamented that the statement blatantly contradicted the definition of genocide as stipulated in Article II of the UN Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide as adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 8, 1948.

'Therein, genocide is defined as a 'crime committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such,'' Ibuka noted.

The organization stated that it was impossible that the 1994 genocide targeted 'Tutsis, Hutus, Twas, and others' indiscriminately as purported by Blinken.

'That would mean there were three separate genocides in Rwanda â€" one against each group. Alternatively, a single genocide against the Rwandan national group, which would mean that victims would have been targeted, not for their 'ethnicity' but for their Rwandan nationality. And we know that both options are historically not true,' Ibuka added.

Blinken's statement, Ibuka stated, had retraumatized many survivors and exacerbated their pain and undermined the effort to advance knowledge and understanding of the genocide and human rights.

The survivors now want Blinken to retract the statement and issue a fresh one that doesn't distort facts about the Genocide against the Tutsi that left more than one million people dead.

'Thus, we are profoundly hurt and outraged by your misleading statement issued on a day of mourning and reflection for the loss of Tutsi lives. We urge you to rectify this misrepresentation by retracting your previous statement and issuing a new one that accurately reflects the historical truths of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi,' they demanded.

Recently, Trent Kelly, a member of the House of Representatives from Mississippi's 1st congressional district also called on the US government to adopt the correct name for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

He said 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 congressman 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.

Survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi want Blinken (pictured) to retract vague 'Kwibuka30' statement.

Wycliffe Nyamasege

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