Press Statement: Season B labor opportunities and Season A harvests support food access and availability in Rwanda (30.03.2016)

Rwanda Mountain Farm

Poor households are currently engaging in Season B agricultural labor, including land preparation and planting. It is expected the April to May lean season will be mild given average to above­ average Season A harvests as the ongoing El Niño contributed to favourable cropping conditions. With adequate household stocks and typical incomeearning opportunities, most poor households are expected to remain in None (IPC Phase 1) until Season B harvesting begins in May.

However, Season A harvests were below average for the third consecutive season in Kayonza, Kirehe, and Nyagatare Districts of Eastern Semi­Arid Agropastoral livelihood zone. As a result, many households are atypically dependent on food market purchases. Although agricultural labor income supported food access in February and March, labor opportunities will seasonally decline in April, reducing purchasing capacity. An increasing number of poor households are likely to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) during the April to May lean season.

As of March 29, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that Rwanda is hosting 75,700 refugees from Burundi, with nearly 98 percent in Mahama and Kigali camps. Some refugees continue to seek labor opportunities in areas surrounding the camps, contributing to a reduction in labor wages and inflationary trends in some areas. Refugee populations remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2!), but only with continued humanitarian assistance.

Press Release: Number of Burundian Refugees Tops 250,000, Says UNHCR (07.03.2016)

kinama (1)

GENEVA, March 7 – With tension remaining high in Burundi, the number of people who have sought shelter in neighbouring states has now passed the 250,000 mark, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency notes, cautioning that people continue to flee and numbers could rise further.

UNHCR’s latest figures show that 250,473 people have been registered as refugees in Democratic Republic of the Congo (21,186); Rwanda (73,926); Tanzania (131,834); Uganda (22,330); and Zambia (1,197) since early April last year, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced plans to run for a third term, which he later won.

The average rate of new arrivals per week is more than 1,000 in Tanzania, 500 in Uganda, 230 in Rwanda and 200 in Democratic Republic of the Congo. There have been small numbers of spontaneous returns.

Lusenda Burundi Refugee Camp

“Cool heads and continuing international attention are needed to avert further deterioration this year, and the right to leave the country and seek asylum should be respected,” UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming told a news briefing in Geneva.

“Despite recent high-level efforts to engage the government, we have not seen significant improvement in the security and human rights situation on the ground. The deteriorating economic situation is also a cause for concern which could trigger further displacement,” she added.

“Although there has been a slight lull in violence recently in Burundi, refugees arriving in the host countries continue to report human rights violations and difficulty in leaving Burundi. We have also been receiving a growing number of refugee reports about detention and sexual and gender-based violence in transit,” Fleming said.

Some 1,700 Burundian refugees have arrived in Democratic Republic of the Congo so far this year, down on the 2,051 of October last year, but still a steady flow. Many are living in poor rural areas, where conditions are harsh, and about two-thirds (14,772) are in Lusenda camp, which is nearing its capacity of 18,000.

Overcrowding is a problem in all host countries, including Tanzania, which has taken in more Burundians than any other. Nyarugusu camp hosts some 143,000 people, including almost 80,000 who have arrived since last April. The decongestion of the camp is a priority and new arrivals go to Ndutu, while others at Nyarugusu are sent to the recently reopened Mutendeli camp. Another camp is planned at Karago, but capacity there and at Mutendeli is limited by insufficient water reserves.

Nakivale Refugee Camp Isingiro District

In Rwanda, close to 48,000 Burundian refugees are living in Mahama camp, the largest camp in Rwanda, and more than 26,400 in Kigali and other towns. As the insecurity persists in Burundi they are running out of savings, which will increase their need for assistance. The Rwandan government, meanwhile, has clarified that it has no plans to relocate Burundian refugees and will keep its doors open.

In Uganda, about two thirds of Burundian arrivals in the past year are being hosted in Nakivale Refugee Settlement (14,876) in the South-West Region, 21 per cent in the capital Kampala, and the remainder in Kyaka II, Oruchinga and Kisoro settlements.

Most are young women and children, with a disproportionately low number of young men. Work is under way to extend settlement areas at Nakivale and other locations. Access to water continues to be a problem and UNHCR is delivering by truck in Nakivale, which is costly and unsustainable.

As with the other asylum countries, funding is a major problem which is affecting access to education, health care, livelihoods, counselling and more, though Uganda allows people to work and travel.

UNHCR requested US$175.1 million for the Burundi humanitarian response in 2016 and has to date received US$4.7 million, or about 3 per cent. –UNHCR

Rwandans get ready to vote in 3rd term referendum (Youtube-clip)

“Rwandans in the diaspora have voted in a referendum on a constitutional amendment that could see veteran leader Paul Kagame rule until 2034. The proposed constitutional amendment allows Kagame to run for a third seven-year term in 2017, after which he would also be eligible to run for two further five-year terms under the new rules. Rwandans resident in their country will however vote tomorrow the 18th of December. Our reporter Suhail Mugabi is in Rwanda at the invitation of the government.” (NTV Uganda, 2015).

WikiLeaks – Rwanda in the 1970s and the Coup d’etat

coup-detat3

This here will be about the coup d’etat in Rwanda in 1973 and the aftermath after it. This information found on WikiLeaks is interesting. Also the way they described the matters and actions on the ground. The way the President Kayibanda lost his power and how the new President Habyarimana took over. Enjoy!

In the Kibuye area there has been huts burning, reports are up to 500 peoples have been killed. Some estimates less and that there has been killed 200 people. On the 9th of March President Gregoire Kayibanda was tired and irritated while meeting with Nuncio at Gitarama. The irritation comes from the envoy from Nyerere that is Nyakyk – that is insisting that all the Tutsi’s should return home. There been Second General Ntalikure that Nyakyk can watch over the countryside with a car to monitor the situation (WikiLeaks, 1973).

On the 23. March 1973 President Kayibanda comments on recent actions in the country.  He issued a statement on radio where he thanked the authorities for their actions. The president focused on that it needed discipline and disloyal acts will be punished. Also talk of Coup d’etat is pointless (WikiLeaks, 1973).

In May in 1973 the situation in Burundi escalated so much that Kayibanda sent minister of international cooperation departed from Kigali in 15th May on a plane to Goma and passing towards to Kinshasa. So that the Government of Rwanda can send a message to Mobutu that they fear for retaliation for the Rwanda refugee attack. Mobutu will understand Government of Rwanda’s innocence while Idi Amin in Uganda will promise to assist Burundi. The Belgian sent two Belgians to Northern Burundi and has reports of killings with arrows and machetes about 50 Tutsi’s and these insurgents are going to Ngozi. The Burundian Refugee Group has entered the country via Butare, this group is supposed to lead by former Burundi Gendarmarie officer (WikiLeaks, 1973).

Spokesman Mandrandele told that Mobutu had a message for Rwanda and Burundi. That Mobutu will mediate between President Kayibanda and President Micombero in the coming OAU. Also with the knowledge of knowing that Amin will intervene on Burundi’s side. Mobutu is clear that no international force should trespass on Zarian National Land or Air space (WikiLeaks, 1973).

Since 25th May the Rwandan radio responded to the attacks calling the Burundian population to liberate themselves. Also the Rwandan radio warned the Government of Burundi to do anything to Rwanda territory. The editorials that the Rwandan radio broadcasted lasted 20 minutes essays that was broadcasted from 25th until the 29th May. Papal Nuncio went to Europe after receiving information that Burundi had sent assassins to terminate him. He went the 24th May. There has also been reported that Perraudin a former secretary to Kayibanda has encouraged that Radio Burundi charged him with killing Tutsis in Rwanda (WikiLeaks, 1973).

The Government of Rwanda has dismissed early 5th July the National Guard. Former President Kayibanda is under “protection” and he is now ousted as chief of state. The General Habyarimana and a high command are running the government. At 1130 the diplomatic missions where invited to give a communique that the guards main point of this change of government was to prevent a “blood bath”. All is silent in Kigali though there is a presence of armed soldiers and especially around the houses of ministers (WikiLeaks, 1973).

The Church in Rwanda had issues with President Kayibanda so on 10. July 1973 the principal priest of Kabgayi (Gitrama) Archdiocese have accepted the guards takeover. This priest turned against the devoted catholic Kayibanda. This also happens with ethnic violence that happens last February and March. CRS Director a French man claims that 100% of the people is happy with the change (WikiLeaks, 1973).

Major Aloys Nsekalije told the German ambassador that in either one or two weeks the cabinet will be named. The German Ambassador Froewis said that the coup had to be planned in beforehand. Nsekalije is denying this accusation. Habyarimana said it happen because being fed up with the “radical” course of the government of Kayibanda. That was with ethnic violence, sending out foreigners, cronyism and inefficiency in actions. Nsekalije said also that the abolishment of the police also triggered the situation because Kayibanda saw this a measure to counter Habyarimana(WikiLeaks, 1973)

After the plan the Belgium mission to Burundi will quit by September 1973. Later the Belgium mission in Rwanda it will stop by the late 1974. Their primary reasons for this the Belgians feels that in both countries there is actively engaged in genocide. They also feel that they can’t be a part of the atrocities happing in both countries. The Belgian military is no longer advising any of the partners (WikiLeaks, 1973).

Now Court Martial has ended. Finally has the Military Court found former President Kayibanda and six former comrades has been also found guilty. They are former State Secretary Nyilibakwe, former Secretary General President Ntalikure, former Director General President Hodari, former Director President Gasamunyiga and Lieutenant Habimana. This sentencing are now before President Habyarimana, that will shortly making an announcement which also will be around the time for the one-year anniversary of the coup d’etat that was on the 5th July. The problem for President Habyarimana is that for some ex-president Kayibanda is seen as father of the country. And it would be seen and be seen by the outside world as a political crime if he execute the ex-president (WikiLeaks, 1974).

On the 5th July President Habyarimana the decision to act on the death sentence of former President Kayibanda. The spirit of the day is supposed to be “reflection and national reconciliation”. In the speech on the radio he introduced it as the second republic. The president also promised that political activities will be by 1978 (WikiLeaks, 1974).

How the Human rights situation in Rwanda after the Coup d’etat:

First to see the context is that the country is ruled with Authoritarian Social tradition and secondly is the issues of the revolution in 1959 – 1961 that ended the 400 year old feudal power structure. That has made changed to society in Rwanda. This has substituted the rule of the majority of the Hutu’s with the minority rule of the Tutsi. Tutsi’s are the losers, they lose their land and homes. Which forces the Tutsi’s into exile. One of the first actions that President Habyarimana took power after sentenced 30 former key members of the former regime. The Coup makers claimed that the former President Kayibanda made ethnic tensions in the country because of the massacres of the Hutu in Burundi in 1972. So now there are now no elections, but local community councils are chosen by a non-partisan vote. President Habyarimana is friends with Mobutu in Zaire and imitates his “Grand Chef” authoritarian style. Still he has a better relationship with Burundian counterpart Bagaza. They also will be a part of Human Rights international because this will open up to donors and aid dollars to the Government of Rwanda. Even though they do this still there are the legal standards in a modern sector. Like violations of prostitutes in Kigali that are rounded-up without due-process. Migrants from rural areas are uprooted from the capital and sent home. President Habyarimana has a five year plan to fix the food security and production in the country. Including in the health, housing, education in the rural areas where 97% of the peoples live. 19% of the budget of the Government of Rwanda goes to the Defense which is mostly to salaries to soldiers (WikiLeaks, 1977).

After three years of implementation of the Communal labor (Umuganda) ministry of plan has said it need more to meet the development needs. The works will focus on the works happening in the areas of hilly Gisenyi and Gikongoro prefectures. They also work for Kigali civil servants, on of the chief activities is to actually making brick manufacturing, fixing roads and coffee cultivation near the Kigali Airport. The minister said that this works was essential to the development of Rwanda. Burgomasters in the rural areas focus on persuasion for the workers then essential to encourage participating in the works. Rwandan Government has rewarded the Communal workers with cutting the work week of its employees from 49hours to 46,5 hours which includes 5 hours of communal labor. The Rwandan Coffee Board – OCIR is giving the producers of green coffee a greater price on it from 80 to 120 Francas a kilo. This is happening because the neighbors of the raise of prices in Zaire and Burundi. The fear from OCIR is that the bigger prices in the other countries they fear that the produce will migrate across the borders (WikiLeaks, 1977).

Reference:

WikiLeaks – ‘KAYIBANDA STATEMENT ON RECENT TROUBLES’ (26.03.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973KIGALI00189_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘Ethnic troubles’ (12.03.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973KIGALI00142_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘Burundi Situation’ (16.05.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973KIGALI00319_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘RWANDA SEEKS MOBUTU’ S MEDIATION’ (17.05.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973KINSHA04108_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘RWANDAN RADIO ATTACKS BURUNDI’ (30.05.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973KIGALI00341_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘RWWNDA NATIONAL GUARD COUP’ (05.07.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973NAIROB04358_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘Rwanda Coup’ (11.07.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973KIGALI00430_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘Rwandan situation’ (17.07.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973KIGALI00439_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘DISCONTINUANCE OF BELGIAN MISSIONS’ (24.07.1973) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1973STATE145021_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘ANCIEN REGIME: COURT MARTIAL RECOMMENDS SEVEN DEATH SENTENCES INCLUDING FORMER PRES KAYIBANDA’ (02.07.1974) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1974KIGALI00400_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘ANCIEN REGIME FIGURES: DEATH SENTENCES COMMUTED’ (05.07.1974) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1974KIGALI00406_b.html

WikiLeaks – ‘HUMAN RIGHTS: RWANDA ACTION PLAN’ (18.07.1977) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1977KIGALI00879_c.html

WikiLeaks – ‘Trends in Rwanda’ (02.07.1977) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1977KIGALI00671_c.html

Kwibuka 21 – First day of 100-days of mourning the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, with statements from John V. Karuranga and Ban Ki-Moon.

Kwibuka1

 

We gather here to mourn today for every drop of innocent blood that shed, every life that was lost and every family that wept. Today, I, and my party, the Rwanda People’s Party, join millions of Rwandans and friends of Rwanda, to commemorate the 21st Anniversary of the 1994 Rwanda genocide perpetrated against the Tutsis.

My Beloved Rwandans, today, is a day to remember the 100 days of harrowing scenes and abominable, violence in which 1,000,050 Tutsis and moderate Hutus lost their lives. It is a day to share the sorrows, pains and experiences of 500,000 heroic women and girls that have lived a life with HIV-AIDS as result of brutal rapes committed during these shameful 100 days. These 45,000 females have courageously fought against the psychological pain, mental anguish, shame and prejudice that plague their lives, even today. The children they bore will grow up as orphans, not knowing their fathers; they too bear the scars of the indescribable rapes that ripped their mother’s lives apart on an industrial scale, during the infamous 100 days of genocide.

Such is the jolting truth! We grieve, today, at this horrendous calculated crime against humanity.

We remember the millions of Rwandans that survived the horrors, afflicted by permanent physical and mental disabilities. We offer our support to all those Rwandans who suffered trauma due to the tragedies of the 100 black days that destroyed our country. Today, we commemorate the 21st anniversary of the genocide of Tutsis. Today we renew our vow to all Rwandans that survived these tragedies.

We love you and that “Never, and never again” will the tragic events of the 100 days that scarred our country and left so many traumatized happen again in our beloved Rwanda. We will miss the victims of the genocide and never forget them, to this extent, our heart goes out to all our families, relatives, friends, neighbours and to Rwandans from every background that were devastated in the 100 days of grim darkness of genocide.

We are utterly at a loss to understand the genocide’s cause. Why would anyone wish to hurt the innocent, especially, pregnant women, toddlers, children, elderly, the sick and all the defenseless people that were not a part of the Rwandan civil war, in such a dreadful and barbarous way?

Fellow Rwandans, reflections on and the memories of the 2400 grim hours of the 1994 genocide of the innocent still haunt our mind. However, these dark thoughts and memories have not destroyed our moral values. Our humanity has not and never will darken our moral judgment and caused us to forget out social and political obligations. The 1994 genocide against Tutsi, it is something that we are compelled to live with on a daily basis and a burden that we must bear, during our working hours and leisure time. Our wounds are still healing but the 1994 tragedies have scared us forever.

My fellow citizens, the example of the Rwandan genocide against Tutsi, should have taught the world the dangers of lies, discrimination and hatred. Yet the world has not learned these lessons from our nation’s great tragedy. Intolerance and hate still goes on-and-about unpunished. You are all familiar with the recent incidence involving Racist soccer fans on the Paris METRO where an innocent person, who was returning home from an honest day’s work. They tormented, abused and physically prevented him from boarding a train. He did not abuse anyone, cause a disturbance or in any way provoke the attack. Fellow Rwandans, the perpetrators of that despicable crime, on the Paris METRO knew that no one would ever question their right to dispel the rights of others because they are of a different race to them. They singled out the victim, abused, tormented and endured mental rape because of the colour of his skin and this is an everyday occurrence in many so-called tolerant Western countries.

Another example of the intolerable attitude towards non-western cultures in Europe and the Western World has been the recent BBC libel on Rwanda and its deliberate distortion of our history and our sufferings. I believe, you also, were shocked at the appalling and indescribable “Rwanda Untold Story” This is a story planted and cultivated by the “A false Prophets” that has so recklessly re-opened so many old wounds. In this program, there was nothing but contempt for the Rwandan people and the BBC spat on the graves of our loved ones.

Like the Racist Train Thugs on the Paris METRO, the culprits believe that they will remain free from punishment for their hateful and deeply offensive words. Indeed, they will never face the rule of law.

However, because of their needless agitation and rewriting of Rwandan history, to suit their taste and those with a sinister agenda, the BBC will always stand accused of malpractice and dishonesty in the eyes of all true Rwandans. The incidents on the Paris METRO and the BBC are examples of the continuing western sense of superiority towards all those who are not from the west. A streak of intolerance runs deep in the Western societies. Some of the old colonial attitudes persist with regard to non-Western people.

The twenty-one years since the 1994 genocide, have been a living hell for many of us. Yet beyond Rwanda, there are men and women that have exploited our tears, our sorrow and the victims of the genocide for their own gain. The genocide deniers and revisionists have exploited our sufferings and have been spreading their lies throughout our region and in most of the European and American capitals for their own selfish reasons. They have attacked the victims and survivors of the Genocide and they are inciting a new genocide.

Fellow Rwandans, I do not need to remind you, of those grantee men and women that permanently, live with the horrors of the genocide after being maimed or disabled. As our moral duty, we remember those who suffered because of the Genocide. We cannot endure the unbearable consequences again. Do not ignore the millions of genocide survivors who lost their beloved ones, whose wounds are just starting to heal. Groups such as the BBC, reopen the harsh chapters of life callously and maliciously.

They believe that they are always above the rule of law and morality. As long as their criminality falls on people beyond the western world, this problem remains unsolved.

Fellow Rwandans, the past 21 years have been so difficult and painful for those of us who lost our siblings, mothers, fathers, grandparents, friends and neighbours.

The campaign, to turn the victims into aggressors and twisting our history is taking its toll upon the survivors. However, I would like to tell you that this is not new. It is has been the norm and a tradition for intolerant people to deny the reality of genocides, throughout history.

Even, today, many Europeans deny that there was genocide against the Jews, such as those who vandalized and desecrated the graves of Jews some 60 years after the Holocaust. Hatred of Jews and the denial of the Holocaust are still alive and strong. Therefore, there is sadly nothing new or unique when people deny that there was genocide in Rwanda. We know the truth – our dead loved ones and those who live with the scars of the 100 days are witnesses to the reality of the genocide.

Fellow Rwandans, we all know they killed, tortured and raped our people most cruelly. They suffered many indignities. Nevertheless, today, we remember the dead with great dignity and solemnity.

Fellow Rwandans, let us not make the mistake to believe that the 100 days of shame and brutality that turned Rwanda into a vast graveyard will happen again or not remembered. Let us make this clear, that the 100 days that saw 500,000 Rwandan women raped on an industrial scale, is firmly the past, forever. Let us emphasize that those grime 100 days in which 45,000 Rwandan children were born as result of rape will never return. We must all stay alert, strong and firm so that the tragic decades when people lived in fear and terror, and were ‘labeled’ and graded into “Category one and Category two” are long gone. This ‘’labeling’’ was a feature of the White South African apartheid regime or the era of slavery where Africans were traded as commodities. Let us be clear and definite, that those terrifying times of indignities, anguish, tears, sorrows, segregation and fears are now compounded, crippled and consigned to our history and they will never return to Rwanda. No matter, the dangers or threats, we will always have the strength to prevent a repeat of that Genocide in our homeland.

Fellow Rwanda, let us stand firm to say “Never, and never again” to the politics of hate, ethnicity, fear, terror and genocide ideology that continues to be woven into the fabric of our society.
I truly believe we are at a time that represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity and that once it is taken; we will never look at Rwandan society in the same way again, and will be very different from the society of twenty-one years ago.

Fellow Rwandans, we will not fail you!

We will never turn our back on you. We will always do whatever it takes. The memory of our dead and the terrible carnage inflicted on our country and people, will always give us strength and the courage to protect our country. Fellow Rwandans, let me make a promise to you.

If we fail to preserve the dignity of the Rwandan people and the memory of the victims, if we fail to give justice to the innocent dead, if we prove unable to protect all Rwandans from any threat posed to them, then there is no legitimate reason for our desired place in public life. We will exclude ourselves from participation in the Rwandan political system. The RPP is dedicated to the protection of the human rights and freedom of all Rwandans.

Fellow Rwandans, the RPP will bring to justice those responsible for piling shame on our country and drowning our nation in blood. There is no time limit in our quest for justice. Let no one have any illusions about this. We will not rest until we have brought every murderer, rapists and criminal, especially the ringleaders, involved in the orchestrating, execution and supervising of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi to justice.

My fellow citizens, my party and I, the Rwanda People’s Party, on the 21st Anniversary of the genocide join the citizens and friends of Rwanda to Commemorate the 21 years of the Rwandan genocide against the Tutsis.

May God bless you.
Thank you.
John V Karuranga, President
Rwanda People’s Party
http://www.rwandapeopleparty.org

SG/SM/16646-OBV/1456:

Secretary-General, in Message for Rwanda Genocide Observance, Urges Prevention of ‘Cruelty Taking Place before Our Eyes’

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda, observed on 7 April:

The International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda offers an opportunity to honour the memory of the more than 800,000 people — overwhelmingly Tutsi, and also moderate Hutu, Twa and others — who were systematically killed across Rwanda in less than three months just over two decades ago.  It is also an occasion to recognize the pain and the courage of those who survived.

Our annual sombre observance is all the more meaningful this year as we mark the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.  We must use this occasion to look back on the past — and to squarely confront the challenges of the present, renewing our collective resolve to prevent such atrocities from happening again.

Many countries now face grave security threats.  People are being subjected to the brutality of violent conflicts and the indignities of poverty.  Discrimination persists in societies torn apart by war, as well as in democracies that largely enjoy peace.  Hatred may manifest as institutionalized racism, ethnic strife, or episodes of intolerance or exclusion.  In other instances, discrimination reflects the official, national version of history that denies the identity of some segments of the population.

I deplore the conflicts and atrocity crimes in many parts of the world that continue to divide communities, killing and displacing people, undermining economies and destroying cultural heritage.

Our first duty is always to prevent these situations and to protect vulnerable human beings in distress.  My “Human Rights Up Front” initiative seeks to prevent serious human rights violations by acting on early warning signs before they become more serious.  My Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and on the Responsibility to Protect work to advance national and international efforts to protect populations from atrocity crimes.  We aim to ensure swift and decisive action to save lives and stop abuses.

On this Day, I appeal to the international community to do more than just speak about atrocity crimes and then fail to take timely action to prevent them.  I call on all to summon the courage to act before situations deteriorate based on our collective moral responsibility.  This is critical for the maintenance of international peace and security.

As I said at last year’s commemoration in Kigali, we must exercise “Umuganda” — coming together in common purpose — to avert what can be prevented and counter the cruelty taking place before our eyes.