June 16, 2024

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30th Anniversary | Rwanda commemorates the Tutsi genocide

30th Anniversary |  Rwanda commemorates the Tutsi genocide

(Kigali) Rwandan President Paul Kagame announced on Sunday that the international community will “let us all down” during the Tutsi genocide, 30e It is the anniversary of the massacre that still hangs the country's shadow over the African Great Lakes.


Official commemorations began this Sunday, April 7 – the anniversary of the first killings in what would become the last genocide of the 20th century.e During the century, 800,000 people died, mainly from the Tutsi minority, but also moderate Hutus.

The international community was heavily criticized for its inaction before and after the genocide.

“It is the international community that has failed us all through contempt or cowardice,” Paul Kagame said during a speech to several thousand people at the BK Arena, a state-of-the-art multi-purpose hall in the capital Kigali.

“No one, no one, not even the African Union (AU), can absolve itself of its inaction in the face of a history of foreboding genocide. Let us have the courage to recognize it and take responsibility for it,” affirmed Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission.

President Paul Kagame, who has ruled the country with an iron fist since the end of the genocide, lit a memorial flame at Kisozi Memorial yesterday morning.

A short while ago, Paul Kagame stood in front of a floral wreath alongside foreign dignitaries to pay tribute to the victims of the massacres.

Former US President Bill Clinton, who was in the White House at the time of the assassinations, French Foreign Minister Stéphane Sejournay and Rwandan-born Foreign Minister Sea Herve Perville attended the ceremony.

Photo by Louis Tatto, Agence France-Presse

Former US President Bill Clinton (centre) attended the memorial service.

“Responsibilities”

To mark the anniversary, French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed in a video broadcast on Sunday, May 27, 2021, that “France accepts everything according to the terms I used.” said the French President, who later traveled to Kigali. Come to “recognize” the “responsibilities” of France.

Paris, which maintained close ties to the Hutu regime when the genocide began, has long been accused by Kigali of “complicity”.

“We have all abandoned hundreds of thousands of victims to this hellish closed session,” he added, noting that Paris was “not complicit” with the Hutu genocide. Mr. Macron is not apologizing, hoping for an apology from the survivors.

“I have no words to add, no words to subtract from what I told you that day,” the French president declared on Sunday.

According to Emmanuel Macron, France “could have stopped the genocide” in Rwanda in 1994, the Elysee announced on Thursday, “along with its Western and African allies”, but it “did not want to”. The words were interpreted as a further step in acknowledging France's responsibilities in the genocide, but Sunday's head of state did not say so.

After decades of tensions, leading to the breakdown of diplomatic ties between Paris and Kigali between 2006 and 2009, a rapprochement between the two countries became possible following Emmanuel Macron's establishment of a commission in 2021 that France would “toughen up”. and great responsibilities.”

Paris City Hall announced Sunday evening that the Eiffel Tower would display in large letters: “Kwipuka 30,” the official name of the commemorations for “Remember” in Guinea and the genocide in Rwanda.

Massacre

In Rwanda, for seven days, music is not allowed in public places or on the radio. Sports events and films will be banned from telecasting unless they are linked to commemorations.

The spring 1994 killings were fueled in a frenzy of hatred fueled by a virulent anti-Tutsi campaign, the day after the attack on Hudu President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane.

The massacre ended on July 4 when Tutsi RPF rebels captured Kigali, prompting hundreds of thousands of Hutus to flee to neighboring Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Thirty years later, mass graves continue to be discovered.

Rwanda carries out reconciliation work, notably the community courts created in 2002, the “Kakaka”, where victims can hear the “confessions” of executioners.

Justice played an important role, but according to Kigali, hundreds of people suspected of participating in the genocide are still at large, particularly in neighboring countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda.

Human rights organizations, including Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, have called for speedy prosecutions of those responsible for the genocide.

UN Human Rights High Commissioner Volker Dürk urged “states around the world to redouble their efforts to bring to justice all suspected criminals who are still alive.”


Read “The Tutsi Genocide: A Massacre Far from the Cameras”.

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