30.1 C
Monday, June 24, 2024

Rwanda marks 30th anniversary of genocide


Share post:


Kigali: Rwanda on Sunday began a week of national mourning and 100 days of commemoration to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

President Paul Kagame and first lady Jeannette Kagame, alongside visiting foreign dignitaries including several heads of state and government laid wreaths at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, where more than 250,000 victims are laid to rest.

Kagame along with the first lady then lit the “Flame of Remembrance” at the memorial, before making a speech at an arena in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.

“Today, our hearts are filled with grief and gratitude in equal measure. We remember our dead and are also grateful for what Rwanda has become,” Kagame said. “To the survivors among us, we are in your debt. We asked you to do the impossible by carrying the burden of reconciliation on your shoulders. And you continue to do the impossible for our nation, every single day, and we thank you.”

Kagame noted Rwanda has made tremendous progress since the genocide as a result of the “choices made together to resurrect the nation” by embracing national unity, being accountable to each other and thinking beyond the horizon of tragedy.

From April 7, the Flame of Remembrance will be lit for seven days at four genocide memorial sites in different parts of the country, which were inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in September.

Other commemorative activities will be conducted across the country, including a Walk to Remember in Kigali, which will be followed by a night vigil.

Entertainment and sporting competitions are suspended during the mourning week while the national flag will fly at half-mast.

About 1 million people, mostly of the Tutsi community and moderate Hutus, were killed in the genocide by Hutu extremists during a massacre within 100 days in 1994.

Kagame castigated tribal politics which he said is being given renewed prominence in some parts of Africa. “Rwanda’s tragedy is a warning, the process of division and extremism which leads to genocide can happen anywhere if left unchecked,” he said.

He commended Rwanda’s partners from around the world for their contributions to the country’s rebirth. He hailed the Nigerian ambassador Ibrahim Gambari, Karel Kovanda of the Czech Republic and that of New Zealand, who he said in 1994 at the United Nations Security Council had the courage to call the genocide by its rightful name and resist political pressure from more powerful countries to hide the truth.

Kagame said Rwanda banks on its youth as the guardians of the country’s future and the foundation of national unity, “with a mindset that is totally different from the generation before.”

The Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat expressed the hope that the 30th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi would help to renew commitment to “never again.”

Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, said: “On this land of a thousand hills, the absolute horror struck. The choice of forgiveness and reconciliation, however, made it possible to repair the social fabric.”

Related articles

If You Want Peace, Prepare for War: Modi needs to go to war against Fake News for Peace in India

In the ever-evolving landscape of information and communication, the battle against fake news has emerged as a critical...

Addressing Illegal Hoardings in India – the Need of the Hour

Illegal hoardings have become a pervasive issue in India, not only compromising urban aesthetics but also posing significant...

Need to amend building bylaws to encourage hotel industry: Yogi

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday expressed the need to constitute Shahjahanpur Development Authority for...

EAM Jaishankar, UAE FM review multifaceted bilateral Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

New Delhi/Abu Dhabi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar paid an official visit to the UAE during which he...