Atyrau, August 18 00:23
Morningdull+28, day: +31
Official exchange rates: $ 360.87  € 410.27  P 5.40

Rwanda commemorates genocide anniversary

April 7 2014, 11:35

7 April, the official day of mourning in Rwanda7 April, the official day of mourning in RwandaPresident Kagame to light flame in memory of victims of 1994 massacres amid fresh diplomatic row with France, al-jazeera reports.

A torch commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide in which 800,000 died is to be lighted in the capital Kigali, amid renewed claims of France being complicit in the killings.

A flame of remembrance touring the small nation from village to village will arrive at the national genocide memorial on Monday. 

President Paul Kagame will light the torch that will burn for 100 days, the length of time it took government soldiers and Hutu militia to kill hundreds of thousands of people, largely Tutsis, in 1994.

Custodians of the memorial said it contains the bones of a quarter of a million people killed in massacres of brutal intensity, now carefully stored in vast concrete tombs.

Wreathes will also be laid, before ceremonies in Kigali's football stadium, where UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and several African leaders are due to attend.

But the commemorations have been overshadowed by a furious diplomatic row with France, which is now sending its ambassador in Kigali to attend the ceremonies, instead of a top level delegation.

The French government initially announced that it was pulling out of the events after Kagame again accused France, an ally of the Hutu nationalist government prior to the 1994 killings, of aiding the murder of 800,000 ethnic Tutsis.

Speaking to the weekly Jeune Afrique, Kagame denounced the "direct role of Belgium and France in the political preparation for the genocide", and said French soldiers were both accomplices and "actors" in the bloodbath.

Paris has repeatedly denied the accusations and insisted that French forces had striven to protect civilians.

Former colonial power Belgium, which unlike France has apologised to Rwanda for failing to prevent the genocide, has sent a senior delegation for the commemorations.

10,000 killed everyday

The UN chief has said the commemorations were a chance to remind the world to do all it can to ensure such crimes never happen again. The UN was heavily criticised in 1994 for not doing more to stop the killings.

"The scale of the brutality in Rwanda still shocks: an average of 10,000 deaths per day, day after day, for three months," Ban said in a statement ahead of commemorations.

He said the impact of the massacres are still being felt across an "arc of uncertainty in Africa's Great Lakes region - and in the collective conscience of the international community".

"People everywhere should place themselves in the shoes of the vulnerable, from Syria to the Central African Republic, and ask themselves what more they can do to build a world of human rights and dignity for all," Ban added.

US President Barack Obama also paid tribute to the victims, saying that the genocide was "neither an accident nor unavoidable".

"It was a deliberate and systematic effort by human beings to destroy other human beings," Obama said in a statement.

Many in Rwanda are remembering the victims in their own deeply personal and reflective way.

Rwanda's Red Cross has boosted its support staff for those hit hard by the memory of trauma.

The official "Kwibuka" mourning - meaning "remember" in Kinyarwanda - ends on July 4, Rwanda's liberation day.

Нашли ошибку? Выделите её мышью и нажмите Ctrl + Enter.
 

1890 viewsMain page Поделиться:

Подпишитесь и узнавайте о новостях первыми


Similar news

France says transfer of Mistral ship to Russia now not possible  1406 views

Ukraine’s President terminates ceasefire   864 views

Putin: 'Nonsense - no Russian troops, special services in east Ukraine'  1166 views

German aviation association wants two-person cockpit rule  1000 views

Main page