20 African countries yet to ratify Genocide Convention adopted 70 years ago

Some of the pictures displayed at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, the resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Rwandan Genocide.

20 African countries are among 45 worldwide yet to ratify a United Nations Genocide Convention adopted by the UN General Assembly 70 years ago.

The adoption of the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was aimed at ensuring no country went through the harrowing experience of deliberate efforts to wipe out a community, race or ethnic group.

“In the aftermath of the Holocaust and Second World War, the world came together and adopted a convention to prevent genocide and punish those who commit this heinous crime,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Friday, ahead of the UN Day commemorating victims of genocide to be marked on Sunday, 9 December

“Seventy years later, the prevention of genocide remains a cardinal task for our time. That is why I launched an appeal for every country to ratify the Genocide Convention. I urge the 45 remaining States to do so without delay.”

While 20 African states are yet to ratify the Genocide Convention, 18 are from Asia and 7 from the Americas.

The International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime was established in 2015, on the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on Genocide, on 9 December 1948.

Among some African states that have gone through the harrowing experience of genocide include Rwanda, Sudan and Burundi.