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Ban highlights need to fight 'genocide ideology,' as UN reflects on 1994 atrocities in Rwanda

11 April 2016 – At an event marking the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the only way to prevent genocide and other "egregious" violations of human rights is to acknowledge shared responsibility and commit to shared action to protect those at risk.

"It is essential that Governments, the judiciary and civil society stand firm against hate speech and those who incite division and violence," Mr. Ban told participants attending the commemoration at the UN General Assembly, this year focused on "Fighting Genocide Ideology."

"The history of Rwanda teaches us an essential lesson," he continued. "While the capacity for the deepest evil resides in all societies, so too do the qualities of understanding, generosity and reconciliation. Let us nurture these hallmarks of our common humanity to help build a life of dignity and security for all."

The UN estimates that in 1994 more than 800,000 people were systematically murdered throughout Rwanda. The vast majority were Tutsi, but moderate Hutu, Twa and others were also targeted.

"In remembering the victims, we should all be inspired by the survivors' courage," the UN chief declared. "They have showed that reconciliation is possible, even after such appalling crimes."

He paid a special recognition to three survivors attending the event to share their stories and messages, including Frida Umuhoza, who insisted that more action from the international community is needed to ensure that it stands by its words when it says "never again" to genocide.

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