Foreign Minister, Urbino Botelho of São Tomé and Principe pays tribute to victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi


Kigali Genocide Memorial welcomed Urbino Botelho, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, to learn about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, and to pay his respects to the victims on behalf of his country. Mr Botelho is in Rwanda following an agreement between himself and Foreign Minister Mushikiwabo to strengthen the bond between Rwanda and São Tomé.

Mr Botelho began his visit with a viewing of a short film detailing the Memorial’s History and its significance to the survivors of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Following this, the Minister was guided through the exhibits in the museum, learning the entire story of the genocide, from the colonial roots of ethnic divisions, through to the horrors of the killings.

Mr. Botelho also had the opportunity of seeing exhibits pertaining to other genocides that have happened in the not-so-distant past, and the extremely moving ‘Our Future Lost’ children’s exhibit. Finally, he had the opportunity to learn about the efforts by Rwandans of all ages and from all walks of life to rebuild and reconcile after the Genocide and the work that the Aegis Trust is doing to promote unity in Rwandan Society.

To conclude his visit, Mr Botelho left a message in the memorial guest book and stressed on the importance of ensuring such an event is never repeated.

Mr. Botelho wrote:

“I was absolutely terrified of what I learned during my visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial. I believe that we should do everything in our power to ensure that such terrible things are never repeated, neither in Rwanda, or anywhere else in the world. I am deeply saddened by what I have learned”

About the Kigali Genocide Memorial

The Kigali Genocide Memorial is a tribute to the victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda, during which around 1 million Rwandans were killed in 100 days. The site of the memorial is the resting place of more than 250,000 of these victims. It serves as a symbol of remembrance, as well as a place of education – in order to remind the world of the necessity of preventing such atrocities from being repeated in the future. Established by the Aegis Trust in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda and the Kigali City Council, the memorial has been running since its construction in 2004, and receives nearly 100,000 people annually.