18th Commemoration of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide

Press Statement
Mark C. Toner
Acting Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 6, 2012

The United States joins countries on April 7 throughout the world as we collectively remember the approximately 800,000 Rwandan men, women, and children who, over the course of 100 days, were brutally murdered in Rwanda’s genocide 18 years ago. We offer heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims and to the survivors who suffered through one of the most horrific events in history.

This is a solemn day of remembrance. We commemorate those who were lost, and we are also are inspired and encouraged by Rwandans’ relentless determination to move beyond this tragedy to rebuild their country and reestablish peace and hope for their children. Since the genocide, Rwanda has made remarkable strides in health, education and agriculture, and has done much to promote regional stability and good governance. Once a country steeped in violent conflict, Rwanda has emerged as an important contributor to the global economy, and to global peace as one of the largest and most effective peacekeepers in the world. Rwanda continues to deliver impressive results in economic growth and development, and the U.S.-Rwanda Bilateral Investment Treaty that entered into force in January promises to further open avenues for investment, trade and ties between our countries.

As we honor the victims of the 1994 genocide, the United States affirms its commitment to continue to work together with the people and Government of Rwanda to ensure that freedom, justice and peace are respected and enjoyed by all.

PRN: 2012/525