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

By JT - Apr 09,2024 - Last updated at Apr 09,2024

World leaders gather in Kigali, Rwanda, to remember the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi (Photos courtesy of embassy of the Republic of Rwanda)

AMMAN — 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, including South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and former US president Bill Clinton. They joined President Paul Kagame to lay wreaths and light the flame of remembrance 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).

On 7 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 yearʼs 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 Rwandaʼs 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.

The article was dedicated to The Jordan Times from the embassy of the Republic of Rwanda

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