World, Africa

Ethnic reflexes lead to tragedies: African Union chief

Pan-African body commemorates 27th anniversary of Rwandan Genocide

Addis Getachew   | 07.04.2021
Ethnic reflexes lead to tragedies: African Union chief FILE PHOTO

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

Africa should insulate itself from the causes of tragedies such as genocide like the one that occurred 27 years ago in Rwanda, chairperson of the African Union Commission said Wednesday.

Moussa Faki Mahamat made the remarks during a ceremony to mark the 27th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide (International Day of Reflection) held at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa in the presence of high-level AU and government officials.

“On this painful day of remembrance, I would like to remind Africans that the ethnic reflexes, community divisions and exclusion can lead to tragedies which Africa does not need,” he said.

He added: “May the tragedy experienced by Rwanda 27 years ago help Africa to protect itself against the recurrence of such a phenomenon and serve as an impetus to build an Africa where ethnic diversity will be considered as a wealth and no longer as a weakness.”

Striking a positive note, Moussa Faki said: “27 years after this large-scale massacre, Rwandans offer us a tremendous lesson in reconciliation and unity. They command our admiration with their ability to transcend hatred and bitterness.”

The genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda that started on April 7, 1994 is arguably the greatest tragedy in Africa, after those of the slave trade and colonialism, he said in his statement.

Over a million people were killed in the most atrocious manner, he said.

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