Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the Twentieth Anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide:
"Today, on the 20th anniversary of the start of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, I join the global community in extending my thoughts and prayers to the Rwandan people as they come together to honor those who survived alongside the memory of those lost. Over the course of 100 horrifying days in 1994, Rwandans endured the unthinkable as their country was torn apart by hate and brutal violence, leaving more than 800,000 men, women, and children dead, while thousands more faced rape and mutilation.
"Rightfully, the genocide shook the collective conscience of the international community and has reshaped international thinking on peacekeeping and atrocities prevention over the past two decades. We have seen the creation of UN peacekeeping missions with robust protection mandates and prosecution of crimes against civilians increasingly being the norm.
"As representatives from around the globe come together today to mark this most solemn occasion in Kigali, Rwandans can be proud of the progress their country has made over the past twenty years. Through reconciliation and resilience, the Rwandan people have lead their nation into a new phase of economic and social growth and are working to protect civilians in other countries through vital contributions to African Union and UN peacekeeping missions. As Rwanda faces new challenges, the United States stands with its people and remains committed to their success.”