At the Kigali Genocide Memorial today, officiating the start of one hundred days of mourning as Rwandans mark the 26th commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi, President Kagame, First Lady Jeannette Kagame and dignitaries laid wreaths at the burial place where more than a quarter of a million lives laid to rest.
President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame lit the Flame of Remembrance “Urumuli rw’icyizere”. The Flame of Remembrance symbolises the courage and resilience of Rwandans over the last 26 years.
Other dignitaries joined in today’s commemoration event are His Excellency Dr Augustin Iyamuremye, Rwandan Senate President, Her Excellency Donatille Mukabalisa, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of Rwanda, Faustin Ntezilyayo, the Chief Justice of Rwanda, Honorable Édouard Ngirente, the Prime Minister of Rwanda and Honorable Guy Nestor Itoua, the Ambassador of the Republic of Congo in Rwanda.
In his address to the nation via video link due to measures on avoiding mass gatherings to protect and prevent the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, President Paul Kagame emphasized on the importance of commemoration and support to the survivors especially during these challenging times with changes that affect the usual communal remembrance gatherings.
“We join together to remember for the 26th time, as we always have and will continue to do. The current unusual circumstances will not prevent us from fulfilling our obligation to commemorate this solemn anniversary, honour those we lost and console survivors”.
“Rwanda today is under lockdown to counter the pandemic – as are more than three billion people around the world,” says Aegis’ Executive Director, Freddy Mutanguha. “For the first time since the Genocide against the Tutsi, this means that survivors and their families cannot gather at the Kigali Genocide Memorial to remember lost loved ones. However, global lockdown also means that for the first time in 26 years, all of you around the World are as close to the Kigali Genocide Memorial today as Rwandans are. Because when no-one can leave their home, distance is no longer relevant. So be with us today; share this moment with us online. Light a flame of remembrance with your own candle, and share it on social media under the hashtag #RememberWithRwanda. Give a message of hope at the Kigali Genocide Memorial website, and show your support for the Memorial’s work of remembrance and peace education.”
The Kigali Genocide Memorial is a home for survivors, relatives and friends of victims to remember their loved ones and for the world to pay tribute to more than one million victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
We invite people to leave a message in the memorial’s digital guestbook as a way to remember the victims and show support to survivors. You can leave your message in the Memorial’s guestbook here