After the United Nations passed a resolution setting April 7 as the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, the US and the UK have raised concerns and sent their Positions of Explanations (PoE) to the UN over the words used in the text.
In statement dated April 20, the US says it is concerned that the changes made in the text narrow the focus of the resolution and fail to fully capture the magnitude of the violence that was committed against other groups.
"Failing to honour and remember these victims presents an incomplete picture of this dark history," reads part of the statement, adding that as much as they support the resolution's overall aim, America's understanding of the "circumstances of the genocide in Rwanda has not changed.
"Rather than advancing reconciliation, the explanations of position of the US and the UK bring ambiguity that feeds the resurgent genocide denial movement that is already on the rise in the Great Lakes region and beyond," said Valentine Rugwabiza, Rwanda's Ambassador & Permanent Representative to the UN.
The UN recognised that a crime consistent with its definition of genocide had been committed in Rwanda against the Tutsi between April 6 and July 17, 1994, and subsequently established the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to prosecute persons responsible for the crimes.