April 05, 2019
UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM STATEMENT ON THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GENOCIDE IN RWANDA
WASHINGTON, DC – Twenty-five years ago, the world watched in horror as within 100 days, as many as one million Rwandans, predominantly Tutsi, were murdered. In the months leading up to the killings, individuals, institutions, and governments failed to heed the mounting warning signs of genocide. This included the January 11, 1994, ‘genocide fax’ sent by the Hon. Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Roméo Dallaire, then Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda, to UN Headquarters warning that Hutu extremists were stockpiling arms and preparing lists of Rwandan Tutsis to be exterminated.
The failure to act to prevent the ensuing genocide extracted an enormous human toll, tearing apart families and entire communities. Twenty-five years later, the searing ramifications of that genocide continue to reverberate through Rwandan society.
“We remember the victims and the unimaginable loss twenty-five years ago,” said Naomi Kikoler, Acting Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. “We remember to restore the dignity of those who were so brutally murdered, to counter denial, and to advance the cause of justice and accountability. We also remember to work to prevent such atrocities from occurring in the future. The Rwandan genocide was preventable. We have a moral obligation to ensure that we do not repeat past mistakes and do today for communities at risk what was not done for Rwandans in 1994 or Jews during the Holocaust.”
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires leaders and citizens worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit ushmm.org.
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