Commemoration of the Genocide of Rwanda

ref: pr/04/04/009

Assembly of Armenians of Europe
Rue de Treves 10, 1050 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 647 08 01
Fax: +32 2 647 02 00

The Assembly of Armenians of Europe expresses its solidarity and its
support to the survivors of the Genocide of Rwanda

Brussels, April 22, 2004 – On April 7th, 2004 the symbolic day of the
10th anniversary of the genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda, the Assembly of
Armenians of Europe participated in the commemoration soiree organized
by the Association IBUKA – Memory and Justice (Belgium) in order to
express its solidarity and support with the survivors and parents of

H.E. the Ambassador of Rwanda in the Kingdom of Belgium, representatives
of international and local organizations, survivors of the genocide and
their parents attended the commemoration ceremony, which took place in
the cultural centre of Auderghem (Brussels).

On December 23, 2003 the General Assembly of UN declared 7 April 2004
“Mediation Day on the Genocide in Rwanda”. Koffi Annan UN’s secretary
general asked “the population of the world everywhere” whether in a
large city or a faraway rural area, to stop to observe 1 minute silence
at noon.

The genocide of 1994 in Rwanda was not committed only against the people
of Rwanda, but against humanity. Therefore, humanity should mobilize
their efforts and power for the purpose of eradicating the impunity by
supporting the International Criminal Court for Rwanda sitting in

Ms. Irene Shaboyan, the representative of the Assembly of Armenians of
Europe reminded the audience of the fact that in 1940 the impunity of
the massacres of Armenians encouraged Adolph Hitler and his army to
proceed with the annihilation of “enemy” population.

“History comes to prove that the commemoration and contrition that
followed the second world war unfortunately were not enough to prevent
further genocides and in particular the indifference and cynics.

The monster that was released in 1915 will demand other victims to be
sacrificed at the altar unless it is pushed back into its cage again.

Obviously the criminals of the genocide of Rwanda, like Adolph Hitler,
were encouraged by the probable impunity, knowing in advance that the
genocide is not necessarily condemned or the executors punished. Strange
things happen even in Europe. The country which perpetrated the genocide
of Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians and continues the intimidations
against 15 million Kurdish population in Trukey, claims the EU
membership and will become a candidate to the EU accession”, added Ms.

H.E. the Ambassador of Rwanda asked the audience to think about all
those nations “that passed through the same horror: the genocide of
Armenians, of Jews and other genocides not recognized yet will always
remind us of the imminent danger”. H.E. the Ambassador clearly pointed
out the inability and unwillingness of the international community,
which had failed to fulfill its duty ‘by abandoning the people of
Rwanda”. According to the H.E. the Ambassador the international
community should at least join its efforts at the second phase in order
to give back to the survivors their lost dignity and respect.

“Could we hope that this time, after the genocide of Tutsi in April 1994
in Rwanda, such a shame will not happen in future? Alas, there are
already negative signs predicting the existence of the Nazi spirit in
Europe! Today, the events in the Balkans reveal the germs of genocide”,
said he in his speech.

The Jewish chorus “Shoresh” was also present at the commemoration soiree
expressing its solidarity to the people of Rwanda through the songs of
morning and hope.