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“Kwibuka30: Unveiling Rwanda’s Resilience” – Reported by Ras Banamungu

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In a poignant ceremony that echoed both sorrow and resilience, the Rwandan community in Western Australia gathered alongside dignitaries and supporters to unveil the Kwibuka Memorial, a solemn tribute to the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

The event, held in Perth on Saturday, May 11, marked a significant milestone in the community’s tireless efforts to preserve the memory of one of the darkest chapters in human history.

Among the distinguished guests was Meredith Hamat, a prominent member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia, who lauded the Rwandan community for their unwavering commitment to ensuring that the horrors of the genocide are never forgotten.

Representing Premier Roger Cook and Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Dr. Tony Buti, Hamat expressed deep admiration for the community’s perseverance in bringing the memorial to fruition, emphasizing the importance of collective remembrance in preventing such atrocities from recurring.

The ceremony, held in the tranquil surroundings of Stirling Civic Gardens, was attended by a diverse array of dignitaries, including Mark Irwin, Mayor of the City of Stirling, members of the Parliament of Western Australia, and representatives from local universities, including Curtin University.

Their presence underscored the significance of the memorial as a symbol of solidarity and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable adversity.

Prior to the unveiling of the memorial, members of the Rwandan community and their allies participated in a solemn “Walk to Remember,” a symbolic march designed to galvanize action against genocide and mass atrocities worldwide.

As they traversed the streets of Perth, their footsteps echoed the determination to honor the memory of the victims and to stand united against hate and intolerance.

The march culminated in a solemn service at the Stirling Adriatic Centre, where emotions ran high as participants reflected on the profound impact of the genocide and reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring that such atrocities never happen again.

Against the backdrop of flickering candles and solemn hymns, prayers were offered for the souls of the departed, and vows were made to uphold the values of peace, unity, and reconciliation.

In a stirring address, Rwandan High Commissioner to Australia, Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, issued a solemn warning against the dangers of hate speech and genocide denial, emphasizing that the seeds of genocide are sown in the fertile soil of division and discrimination.

He urged vigilance against the insidious forces of hatred and intolerance, stressing the imperative of confronting the past in order to build a more just and compassionate future.

As the Kwibuka Memorial was unveiled, amidst a hush of reverence and solemn reflection, it served as a powerful reminder of the enduring legacy of the genocide and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unspeakable horror.

Etched with the names of the countless victims whose lives were tragically cut short, the memorial stands as a testament to the indomitable will of the Rwandan people to honor their memory and to ensure that their voices are never silenced.

As the sun set on the solemn ceremony, casting its golden rays upon the Kwibuka Memorial, it served as a beacon of hope amidst the darkness, a symbol of remembrance and renewal, and a testament to the enduring power of the human spirit to triumph over adversity.

In the hearts of all those who bore witness to this historic moment, the memory of the victims will live on, a guiding light to illuminate the path towards a more compassionate and inclusive world.

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