Rwanda 15 Years On

8 Apr 2009

Yesterday marked the 15th Anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, with events staged worldwide to remember the one million victims , and the four hundred thousand survivors, of the genocide.

SURF helped organise a commemoration at the United Nations in New York which included a Reading of the Testimonies. UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, as well as US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, both spoke on the importance of remembrance and genocide prevention. There are additional Reading of the Testimonies events worldwide, in South Africa, Australia, Mexico and Japan, amongst other countries.

SURF Founder, Mary Kayitesi Blewitt, commenting on the BBC World Service reiterated the importance of justice for survivors. Mary’s contribution to supporting survivors was honoured during SURF’s 15th Anniversary commemoration event on Saturday. As well, Reverien Rurangwa, who was due to speak at the event, but was denied a travel visa from Switzerland where he now lives, has been recognised in a cover story in G2 today. His remarkable story of survival is chronicled in Genocide: My Stolen Rwanda, an extract of which was read during the commemoration by his publisher Rosie Whitehouse of Reportage Press.