Museveni, Uhuru To Honour Rwanda Genocide Victims

approved geneva; font-size: small; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;”>The flame of remembrance which has been traversing the country returns to the Kigali Genocide Memorial on April 7, pharmacy with President Kagame officially flagging off the national mourning period.

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Kagame, who in 1994 led the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) to stop the genocide that nearly wiped out the entire Tutsi community, will light the Flame of Mourning at Amahoro Stadium tomorrow.

In Rwanda, Chimp Corp Giles Muhame says Kigali International Airport has in for the last one week been receiving hundreds of foreign visitors including diplomats, researchers, foreign media, Rwandans living in Diaspora among other dignitaries.

“This is a very trying moment for Rwandans as they reflect on the 100 days of long knives in which a million lives were lost at the hands of the brutal Interahamwe militia. The 1994 horror is still fresh in many people’s mind,” says Muhame.

At the Stadium where the main function will be held, several people especially women are gathered outside.

The tears that continue to roll down their cheeks underline how difficult it has been for the nation to erase memories of the 1994 bloodbath.

President Kagame believes the past cannot be changed but the country has plenty of time to shape the future.

Some of the high profile delegates who have already arrived in Rwanda include United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon.

He is today expected to hold talks with President Kagame.

Having brought to an end the genocide against the Tutsi, President Kagame is expected to give a speech on Monday in which he will highlight the country’s achievements since 1994.

They include the transformation of the transport infrastructure such as building high-class tarmac roads right from Kigali to all corners of the country.

Kagame has also been credited for rebuilding the nation’s human resource after the genocide wiped out over one million people.

Public institutions in the health and education sectors which had crumbled

have been revived.

The economy is now booming, with growth of over 7 percent.

Mathew Muganwa, a waiter at a hotel says today’s heavy downpour is a blessing from God to wash away tears off the faces of many as they remember the 1994 genocide.

“I was a toddler when the mass slaughter broke out in 1994. My dad was killed after being identified at a roadblock staged by the Interahamwe. We have never seen his body,” sobs Muganwa.

“The RPF government delivered peace and security and we are now comfortably living alongside each other without hate,” he adds.

Muganwa emphasizes that much as he forgave the killers of his father, it has been difficult to let go of the trauma.

Role of international community

Meanwhile,speaking in Kicukiro on Saturday, the Minster of Sports and Culture Hon. Protais Mitali said that while the Flame of Remembrance Tour might be coming to a close, the message of resilience, strength and unity it delivers will never fade.

He also noted that the Flame of Remembrance was a reminder of both the talent of the people lost but also the resilience and courage of Rwandans in the years since.

Minister Mitali appealed to the international community to bring to justice those who perpetrated the genocide.

“By continuing to harbour known genocidaires and acquitting those who were apprehended, the international community and the ICTR are sending the wrong message to the rest of the world about genocide.”

“This emboldens terror organisations such as the FDLR to continue their misled agenda.”

“We appreciate and wish to continue our cordial relations with the international community at large and we strongly appeal to certain members, who refused to listen to the pleas of innocent Rwandans being slaughtered in 1994, to do the right thing this time.”

Venuste Karasira, a survivor from Niboye in Kicukiro, gave testimony about how United Nations troops abandoned Tutsi at ETO Kicukiro and how they were forced to march to Nyanza to be slaughtered.

Major General (retired) Henry Kwami Anyidoho – former UNAMIR Deputy Commander, spoke about the period immediately after the genocide, and the unique challenges it posed.

“There was nothing, no chairs, no tables. All institutions had broken down. Where were they going to start?”

He singled out the RPF however, for their composure, orderliness and assuredness in the face of this seemingly unconquerable task.

“This is why I praise the courage of the Rwandese. The only organised group at that time was the RPF. For military men to be able to surmount all the difficulties and help other Rwandans to get where they are I praise their courage and fortitude.

“My prayer is that all Rwandese will continue to live in peace and together build a strong and prosperous nation, a country in which all citizens will have equal opportunities.”

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