The African Commission affirms the need for addressing the repercussions and heeding the lessons of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi remains as important today as 30 years ago.


On the occasion of the 30th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) joins Rwanda, the African Union (AU) member States and the international community in the commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, pursuant to Assembly/AU/Dec.695 of July 2018, designating 7th April of each year as the African Union Day of Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda and the UN General Assembly Decision 72/550 of 26 January 2018 designating 7th April as the International day of reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda. 

The African Commission welcomes the 30th commemoration as a solemn occasion for affirming the significance of memorialization as key measure of repudiating the atrocious acts and recognizing the suffering of victims and survivors as well as avoiding the repeat of the most gross and heinous violations of human and peoples’ rights. The African Commission also underscores the responsibility of the AU and its member states to respect and promote respect of the UN Convention Against Genocide.

As it pays its tribute to all those who lost their lives and expresses its solidarity with and honors all of those affected by the genocide including survivors and their descendants, the African Commission affirms that need for addressing the consequences of the genocide in all its dimensions and heeding the lessons from it for Rwanda, the region and the entire continent remain as important today as it was in its immediate aftermath 30 years ago. 

The African Commission is mindful of the need for defending and sustaining the commendable progress Rwanda registered in rebuilding the social and physical infrastructure destroyed during the genocide. The African Commission thus underscores as key lesson of that tragedy the need for upholding the rights and freedoms enshrined under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter) as durable guarantee against recurrence and reversals in the progress made towards addressing the repercussions of the genocide that continue to reverberate to this day in Rwanda and the region. 

The African Commission cannot emphasize enough the responsibility of the African Union and its member states for elevating their efforts for upholding the commitment they made under Article 4(h) of the Constitutive Act of the AU for never letting similar mass atrocities happen on the continent by taking all measures necessary for saving civilians from the threat or perpetration of mass atrocities whose occurrence remains ever present as events in some of the conflict settings on the continent highlight.   

As Africa and the world joins Rwanda in marking this 30th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, the African Commission reminds States parties to the African Charter that they have obligations for enabling both the investigation of reports of mass atrocities and the provision of accountability and remedial measures, including through instituting transitional justice processes as envisaged in the AU Transitional Justice Policy and the African Commission’s Study on Transitional Justice and Human and Peoples’ Rights.   

Honourable Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso, PhD,
 African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ Focal Point on Transitional Justice

Honourable Commissioner Mudford Zachariah Mwandenga
Country Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the Republic of Rwanda

Done this 04 April 2024