April 7th, the start of Kwibuka 29 was marked at the Kigali Genocide Memorial as the President and First Lady of Rwanda lit the flame of remembrance which will burn for the next 100 days, recalling the 100 days of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994 in which a million people lost their lives.
After lighting the flame and placing a wreath at mass graves where 250,000 victims of the genocide have their final resting-place, the President addressed survivors and dignitaries at the Kigali Genocide Memorial’s amphitheatre,
“Today we gather to honour the continued sacrifice of survivors and remember those targeted and killed during the Genocide against the Tutsi because of who they were.” President Paul Kagame said.
Speaking at the event also, Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana, Minister of National Unity and Civic Engagement (MINUBUMWE) urged those who are bound by the genocide ideology to let it go.
“Those who are bound by the ideology of genocide should let it go and join Rwandans in their choice to be one, looking far and choosing what is right for them.”
Eric Mwizerwa, a Genocide survivor shared horrors he endured during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and his journey towards healing and resilience.
In his message around this year’s commemoration, Freddy Mutanguha, Aegis Trust’s Chief Executive Officer stated: “Everything we do to build peace and resilience against division is done in memory of all who have been murdered simply because of who they were. Those of us who have survived genocide remember them not as ciphers for the failure of humanity, but as the individuals and family members we grew up with, knew and loved. We urge all of you around the World to join with us in remembrance today, and in renewed commitment to preventing anyone else experiencing such trauma, pain and loss in the future.”
Photos of the event can be viewed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142016030@N02/albums/72177720307328067