WASHINGTON (Xinhua) — U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday that such mass atrocities and genocides as those happening 17 years ago in Rwanda must never happen again.
“Seventeen years ago today, the world watched as an unimaginable slaughter began to unfold in Rwanda,” Obama said in a statement on the 17th Anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda.
“One hundred horrific days later, more than 800,000 innocent people – men, women and children – lay dead in one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century.”
“Today, we join the Rwandan people in honoring the memory of the loved ones they lost so senselessly, and we reaffirm the lessons of that tragic chapter in history,” the president added.
In the Rwanda genocide, over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered at the hands of Hutu extremists over the course of 100 days.
“As an international community, we must summon the same courage to ensure that such mass atrocities and genocides never happen again,” Obama said.
He lauded progress being made in Rwanda, saying as a leading contributor to peacekeeping missions around the world, “Rwanda reminds us of our obligations to each other as fellow human beings, and our shared responsibility to prevent attacks on innocent civilians, as the international community is doing today in Libya.”