The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) stands in solemn commemoration on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.
For 100 days in 1994, Hutu extremists engaged in the systematic destruction of over 800,000 Tutsi men, women and children, as well as their moderate Hutu allies – as well as the systematic rape and sexual violence against countless women and children.
This deliberate and premeditated campaign of mass slaughter was years in the making – as Hutu extremists fanned the flames of ethnic tension; inciting communal violence, and providing training and arms to the future perpetrators of the genocide known as the génocidaires.
The Rwandan Genocide was one of the most horrific crimes against humanity perpetrated in the 20th century, and exposed the inadequacy of the international community’s ability to respond to the perpetration of genocide.
It is abundantly apparent that the United States and much of the international community were aware of the escalating violence and risk of genocide in Rwanda, but chose not to act out of a fear of the political repercussions in the wake of the US intervention in Somalia.
While President Clinton has since expressed regret over the failure to act to prevent the carnage, the global inaction in the face of contemporary genocides including those perpetrated against the Uyghurs in China and the Rohingya in Myanmar reveal how far the world still is from fulfilling its promise to ensure the prevention of the crime of genocide.
As a community still living with the trauma of genocide and its present-day ramifications, we as Armenian-Americans again express our solidarity with the victims and survivors of the Rwandan Genocide and remain resolute in our commitment to ensure that never again will the crime of genocide be perpetrated while the world watches in silence.