Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Didier Reynders, has visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial and paid respects to victims of the Genocide. The purpose of the visit was to learn more about the history of the Genocide against the Tutsi and the work genocide prevention organisation Aegis Trust has been doing to collect and preserve the memory of the Genocide. Aegis Trust runs the memorial on behalf of the Government of Rwanda and established the Genocide Archive of Rwanda in 2010.
Deputy Prime Minister Reynders began his visit by paying respect to the victims of the Genocide and laying a wreath on the burial place. The memorial is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide. In total, more than one million Rwandans were killed in the Genocide against the Tutsi.
The Deputy Prime Minister then took a guided tour of the memorial exhibition, which provides insight into Rwandan history before colonisation, the role of colonisers in dividing Rwandans and details evidence of the Genocide and its causes and consequences. The exhibition also features post-Genocide reconstruction efforts in Rwanda and information on other genocides around the world.
He then received a briefing on the Rwanda Peace Education Programme exhibition, which uses stories of unity and humanity to inspire peace makers across the country. The memorial contributes to the programme by hosting students and teachers and contributing to the exhibition.
At the end of the tour, Minister Reynders left a message of hope in the memorial guestbook.
“Always remembered with all our respect.” – Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Belgium