KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
Lighting the flame of hope and laying of wreath
at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre marked the start of the
23rd commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the
Tutsi in Rwanda.
Rwandans and friends
of Rwanda all over the world on Friday marked the 23rd
anniversary of the 1994 Genocide that claimed close to one
million lives of majority ethnic Tutsis and minority Hutus.
Paul Kagame and Rwanda First Lady Jeannette Kagame together with
the African Union Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat
laid a wreath at the genocide victim’s mass graves and as well
lit the flame of remembrance at the Kigali Genocide Memorial at
Gisozi in the country’s Capital.
The flame of
remembrance will burn for 100 days marking three-month-long
mourning of the victims of the 1994 genocide until July 4 when
the genocide was stopped by the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) now
Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF).
Memorial is home to more than 250,000 genocide victims. It has
three permanent exhibitions, the largest of which documents the
1994 genocide. There is also a children’s memorial and an
exhibition on the history of genocide around the world.
This year’s genocide
commemoration is observed under the theme “Remember the Genocide
against the Tutsi—Fight Genocide Ideology—Build on Our
Speaking at the
event to kick-start commemoration activities, Kagame paid
tribute to African nations that stood up against those who tried
to turn victims of the genocide against the Tutsi into
“There is nothing we
can do about the past but there is something we can do for our
people in the present. We are not asking for money, there is no
money to compensate the lives we lost. It is the truth we are
asking for,” Kagame said.
He noted that
genocide was perpetrated against the ethnic Tutsis and global
debate on how to call the genocide against Tutsis is “absolute
observance that falls on April 7 begins with a commemoration
week that involves several activities among others, visiting and
laying wreaths at memorial sites, according decent burial to
exhumed genocide remains, giving testimonies, public lectures,
and candle lighting vigils.
officially last a week, but the commemoration continues up to
July 4, marking 100 days of genocide.
At the event, AU
Commission Chair called on Rwandans to work together and build
their country for a better future of the generation to come.
No form of
entertainment is allowed during the main commemoration week,
Throughout the week
the Rwandan flag will be flying at half-mast in honor of the
victims, while civil servants will be working for half a day
during weekdays to enable them to participate in community
discussion organized as part of commemoration activities.
Later in the
afternoon hundreds of youth participated in the ‘Walk to
Remember’ from the Rwandan parliamentary building to Amahoro
African Union commemorates 23rd
anniversary of Rwanda Genocide
ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) --
The African Union (AU) on Friday marked the 23rd
anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide at the headquarters of the
pan-African bloc in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
with Rwanda’s Embassy here in Addis Ababa, the commemoration was
held under the theme of “Remember the Rwanda Genocide - Fight
Genocide Ideology - Build on our Progress.”
The commemoration is
held to remember the lives lost during the Genocide of 1994 in
Rwanda, show solidarity with the survivors and unite to ensure
it never happens in Rwanda or elsewhere in Africa and beyond,
said the AU.
Speaking on the
occasion, Thomas Kwasi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson of the AU
Commission, reiterated that the Rwanda Genocide commemoration is
held on annual basis to remember the victims and renew Africa’s
collective commitment to protect human rights.
The event at AU has
involved activities including, Flame of Remembrance ceremony,
screening of documentary movie on Rwanda Genocide, poem
recitation, and musical dramas by school children, among others.
The commemoration of
the Rwanda Genocide is annually organized by the pan-African
bloc following the AU policy organ decision to recognize the 7th
of April as a day of remembrance of the victims of the genocide
and reaffirmation of Africa’s resolve to prevent and fight
genocide on the continent.
The purpose of the
commemoration is to continuously awaken greater awareness of the
African peoples and the international community about the value
of life and humanity, and to renew Africa’s collective
commitment to protect and uphold fundamental human rights, said
Rwandans to remember victims of
1994 genocide on Friday
KIGALI, (Xinhua) --
Rwandans will remember the victims of the 1994
genocide against Tutsi on Friday at the Kigali Genocide Memorial
site where remains of about 250,000 victims were buried.
for the 23rd genocide anniversary will be an occasion
for Rwandans from all walks of life to pay tribute to the more
than one million innocent lives lost, according to a government
statement released Thursday.
On Friday, events
will be held at both the national level and in villages to begin
the National Commemoration Week.
will light the Flame of Remembrance at Kigali Genocide Memorial
In the afternoon
there will also be a Walk to Remember from Parliament in Kigali
to Amahoro stadium in Remera, where a night vigil will take
The statement said
throughout the week, Rwandans throughout the country will
reiterate their commitment to fight genocide ideology and
reflect on the country’s journey of unity and reconciliation in
the last 23 years.
Week will end on April 13 with an event to honour politicians
who were killed for opposing the genocidal government.
Rwanda genocide survivors renew call
to apprehend fugitives