Genocide: New Zealand hands over diplomatic archives
The Permanent Mission of Rwanda to the UN on Saturday received a copy of New Zealand’s diplomatic archive on Rwanda during the latter’s tenure on the Security Council in 1993-94, as the Genocide against the Tutsi unfolded.
The copy was delivered by New Zealand’s former envoy to the UN, Amb. Colin Keating, and Craig Hawke, New Zealand’s current Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN.
“Amb. Keating was one of the few voices of courage to speak out against the genocide amidst other Council Members’ inertia in the face of Genocide against the Tutsi,” the Permanent Mission of Rwanda to the UN tweeted.
“For that, in 2010, President Paul Kagame decorated him with the ‘Umurinzi’ Medal for the Campaign against Genocide.”
Earlier this year, New Zealand became the first country to hand over archives of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
Keating was the Security Council president during the 1994 Genocide, and relentlessly sought the intervention of the international community to end the carnage.
The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) Executive Secretary, Dr. Jean-Damascène Bizimana, told The New Times that the historical facts of the Genocide against the Tutsi need to be gathered, continuously, and kept safe so that the memory of the Genocide is preserved for generations to come.
Bizimana said: “One of the reasons why the memory exists is because there are historical documents that help people to properly understand how the Genocide was planned, how it was executed and the role of various institutions in carrying out the extremely cruel act of Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994.”
“The United Nations was one of the institutions that failed to prevent and stop the Genocide until it claimed more than one million lives before it was stopped by the RPF-Inkotanyi.”
Bizimana said the copy of New Zealand’s diplomatic archive on Rwanda during the latter’s tenure on the Security Council in 1993-94 will help to shed more light on how the Security Council failed to live up to its duty of preventing and stopping the Genocide.
A copy of the diplomatic archives was handed to over to Rwanda on Saturday. / Courtesy
There are some genocide fugitives living in New Zealand, a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, however, both Kigali and Wellington are cooperating on the matter.
In April, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern urged world leaders to remember as well as commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi if humanity is to prevent the repetition of such cruelty anywhere.