Members of Rwanda's Senate on Thursday endorsed the country's move to include four genocide memorials in Rwanda on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Those memorial sites are the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center in the capital city of Kigali, Nyamata genocide memorial in eastern Rwanda, Murambi genocide memorial in southern Rwanda and Bisesero genocide memorial in western Rwanda.
Senators made the endorsement during a consultative meeting on enlisting Rwanda genocide memorials on the list of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage sites at the parliament in Kigali.
On April 6, 1994, then Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana died in an air crash, swiftly triggering a three-month-long genocide. The genocide starting from April 7 claimed more than 1 million Tutsi and moderate Hutus.
The UN General Assembly in January adopted a decision to change the designation of April 7 as "the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda" from the name of "the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda" as used by a December 2003 resolution.
Rwanda genocide memorials should be included on UNESCO world heritage sites because they will educate the world about the country's history that can help prevent similar atrocities globally, said President of the Senate Bernard Makuza at the meeting.
"These memorials carry a lot of information about the dangers of genocide and the root causes of it. People will be able to easily identify these memorials once they are put on the world heritage sites," he said.
The meeting recommended Rwanda's National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG) to engage UNESCO and ensure that memorial sites meet the UNESCO requirements.
"We are looking forward to UNESCO to approve our request to include four Rwanda memorial sites on the world heritage sites," said Jean-Damascene Bizimana, executive-secretary of CNLG.