At the Houses of Parliament, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on The Great Lakes Region of Africa organised a memorial ceremony to mark the 15th Anniversary of the genocide. The event was featured on the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 (at 0849).
It was a small, but immensely powerful, event with Stephen Crabb MP and Lord Malloch-Brown (Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN) participating in a Reading of the Testimonies of survivors. We were fortunate as well to be addressed by two young survivors of the genocide: SURF Trustee, Jean Louis Mazimpaka, as well as Christine Blewitt, daugter of SURF Founder, Mary Kayitesi Blewitt.
His Excellency Claver Gatete, Rwandan Ambassador to the UK, led a one minute silence, and James Smith, Director of the Aegis Trust, spoke on the importance of memorialiasing the genocide. SURF is thankful to Eric Joyce MP, Chair of the APPG, for hosting the event – and his team Stephen Carter and Chris Levick for their work in coordinating it.
Such commemorations are important not only for the purpose of our own memory, but in the message that it conveys to survivors that they, and the victims of the genocide, will be forever remembered.