UK Minister Wharton honours Genocide victims

James Wharton at Kigali Genocide Memorial

United Kingdom’s Minister for the Department for International Development (DFID), James Wharton, has said the world should learn from Rwanda’s reconciliation and reconstruction efforts. He said this today at the Kigali Genocide Memorial where he paid tribute to victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

“This memorial brings vividly to life the impact on so many individuals, on the communities. We must never forget the past but must work together to ensure it is never repeated,” he said.

“We need to ensure lessons are learnt and passed on to future generations so that these terrible events cannot be allowed to take hold in any population in any country in the world. We will always remember the true cost of hatred and prejudice and we will always recognise how much a better future we can all have by working together and learning those lessons.”

Wharton arrived in the country on Monday. He has visited different UK aid funded projects and held discussions with the Government of Rwanda on areas of mutual interest for the UK and Rwanda, including poverty reduction, education, trade and investment and civil society, Rwanda Focus reports.

The minister said the world must never forget the terrible and tragic events that took place in Rwanda in 1994, adding that the government of the UK supports peace education in Rwanda because it is a way to ensure the tragedy is not repeated.

“Reconciliation is never an easy thing. It requires forgiveness, understanding and justice to be done. What we see in Rwanda is the significant progress that has been made. A country which is developing and reaching its socio-economic potential because it is dealing with its past in a sensible and appropriately respectful way,” he said.

He added that there are lessons that can be learnt by all other nations that have suffered tensions and killings—often not on a scale that Rwanda has faced.

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