Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic on the 10th Anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda
07.04.2004 / 10:52
Ten years have elapsed since April 7, 1994 when ethnically-based massive and gross violence broke out in Rwanda. During the months that followed, hundreds of thousands of the Tutsi as well of the moderated Hutu were killed. The number of victims of this barbarity reached nearly one million.(7/4/2004)
Ten years have elapsed since April 7, 1994 when ethnically-based massive and gross violence broke out in Rwanda. During the months that followed, hundreds of thousands of the Tutsi as well of the moderated Hutu were killed. The number of victims of this barbarity reached nearly one million.
The time that has elapsed has in no way lessened the compassion showed by the Czech Republic for the victims of this tragedy. The only name the extent of this tragedy could be given at the time it took place and again today is genocide, the description used for the first time by the Czech Republic as the then member of the UN Security Council.
Neither the Security Council nor the UN Secretariat showed at that time sufficient determination that could have prevented the genocide or at least reduce the number of victims. The international community, and in particular its most influential members, too, responded with unacceptable hesitation and slowness.
Yet even after "Rwanda" the world community is unable of defending effectively civil population against the horrors of extermination - more than three million dead in the east and northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the second half of the 1990's are a proof.
In order to prevent the recurrence of similar human catastrophes, the existing mechanisms of prevention and punishment of genocide must work quickly and effectively. And this necessitates a political will. The states that are primarily responsible for preventing genocide in their territories must warn about threatening or existing genocide anywhere else. No state or region must be regarded as too far away to allow the genocide of its population to be disregarded.
The Czech Republic has therefore been paying continued attention to the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania, and has been participating in its activities. The Czech Republic appreciates that it gradually succeeds in bringing to justice those responsible for the Rwandan genocide.
The Czech Republic will be represented at the commemorations of the 10th anniversary of the genocide in the Rwandan capital of Kigali on April 2004 by Mr Karel Kovanda, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to NATO, who represented the Czech Republic in the UN Security Council in the 1994-1995 term.
On this occasion, Ambassador Kovanda will convey a letter from
the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mr Vladimír Špidla, to
the Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda, Mr Bernard Makuza.