On 4th May 2019, over 300 Rwandans were joined by local members of Parliament, local government officials from the East Midlands city, including the Lord Mayor of Nottingham and Lilian Greenwood MP for Nottingham South, who was amongst the vocal contributors at the UK Parliament urgent Questions calling for extradition of the genocide suspects living in the UK. Rwandan community leader for Nottingham, Mr Amdani Juma, thanked the city of Nottingham for its continued support for survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
Genocide survivor and resident of Nottingham Beata Uwazaninka shared her testimony, which was followed by a reminder of the importance of Kwibuka by the Chair of the National Association of Rwandan Communities in the UK, Mr John Binama, that “if we do not talk about it, the world will never know about the Genocide.
These words were echoed by Dr Michael Gray, Director of Studies at Harrow School, who cautioned that it should not be assumed that knowledge of the “meticulous planning that went into the systematic planning of the genocide is universally understood” and put emphasis on our shared “duty to challenge and explain misconceptions of the Genocide”, ensuring survivors have a voice. The expert remarked that Rwanda is a model for the world and that the world should follow its example of embracing unity and reconciliation.
Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Liaqat Ali, shared that Nottingham is following Rwanda’s lead, particularly in gender parity and women empowerment, having one of the highest proportion of female councillors and leaders in the UK.
The Lord Mayor pledged his continued support to work with the leader for Nottingham and Rwandese community leaders in the UK, while the First Counsellor at the Rwandan High Commission in London, Mr Fidelis Mironko, thanked the guests for their solidarity and invited them to continue working “hand in hand” and standing together against genocide and the culture of impunity to build a united and inclusive society.
The First Counsellor, who spoke on behalf of the High Commissioner, added that Rwanda has taken new path of building common identity as opposed to the past. The well attended commemoration, which was supported by The Aegis Trust, was opened by Master of Ceremony Mr Jonathan Kaliisa Kalemera, and included music and poetry by survivors and young members of the Rwandan community, as well as educational exhibitions on the Genocide by CNLG and a touring exhibition by Dr Julia Viebach of Oxford University.