World leaders gather in Rwanda to mark the 30th anniversary of the Genocide against the Tutsi

PRNewswire April 8, 2024

KIGALI, Rwanda, April 8, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — World leaders past and present gathered in Kigali, Rwanda, to remember the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Over a dozen current and former Heads of State attended. They joined President Paul Kagame to lay wreaths and light the commemoration flame at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, and thereafter they participated in the national ceremony at BK Arena, marking the official start of Kwibuka30. Kwibuka means ‘to remember’ in Kinyarwanda (the national language of Rwanda).

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On 7th April 1994, a genocide was unleashed against the Tutsi minority of Rwanda, leaving over a million dead in just 100 days, in full view of the world. A minimal United Nations peacekeeping force stood by and watched the genocide unfold, after a decision was made by the Security Council to withdraw most of the peacekeepers.

Four memorials to the Genocide against the Tutsi, recently inscribed as UNESCO world heritage sites, will be illuminated each night for the week of commemoration. As a sign of international solidarity, iconic monuments in cities around the world will be lit in the colours of the Rwandan flag, as part of a joint Rwanda-UNESCO initiative.

This year’s historic anniversary is an opportunity for Rwandans and the rest of the world to honour victims, comfort survivors, and reflect on Rwanda’s journey of recovery, reconciliation, and resilience, with national unity at the core of the country’s stability and progress.

President Kagame, talking about Rwanda’s experience said: “We have turned the corner in Rwanda, but the same ideology that justified the genocide against the Tutsi is still alive and well in our region. And we see the same indifference from the wider world as in 1994. It is as if those expensive lessons are always lost, and we stare blindly as the same type of situation builds up again and again.”

Commemoration week will close with a ceremony at Rebero Genocide Memorial, which honours the courageous Rwandan officials and politicians who were killed because they opposed their government’s plan to exterminate the Tutsi population. 

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President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame light the flame of Remembrance at Kigali Genocide Memorial. April 7, 2024 - Kigali, Rwanda



SOURCE Kwibuka

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