Sunday, April 7, 2024
+256 784 320 146
East AfricaNews

A week of mourning in Rwanda to commemorate 30 years of 1994 genocide

Rwanda|Rwandans are marking 30 years since a genocide orchestrated by armed Hutu tore apart their country, as neighbours turned on each other in one of the bloodiest massacres of the 20th century.

President Paul Kagame led the commemoration on Sunday by placing wreaths on the mass graves in the capital, Kigali, flanked by foreign dignitaries, including the leaders of South Africa and Ethiopia as well as former US President Bill Clinton, who had called the genocide the biggest failure of his administration.

The killing spree, which began on April 7, 1994, lasted 100 days before the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) rebel militia took Kigali in July of the year, and saw some 800,000 people dead, largely Tutsis but also moderate Hutus.

The assassination of Hutu President Juvenal Habyarimana on the night of April 6, when his plane was shot down over Kigali, triggered the rampage by armed Hutu men and the “Interahamwe” militia.

President Paul Kagame leads rites in Kigali as the African nation marks one of the bloodiest massacres of the 20th century.

Their victims were shot, beaten or hacked to death in killings fuelled by vicious anti-Tutsi propaganda broadcast on TV and radio. At least 250,000 women were raped, according to the United Nations figures.

The tiny nation has since found its footing under the rule of Kagame, who led the RPF, but the scars of the violence remain, leaving a trail of destruction across Africa’s Great Lakes region.

Members of the Rwandan Patriotic Front inspect the remains of several hundred Tutsi civilians, which were dug up and reburied in 1995 as part of a memorial to approximately 12,000 Tutsi massacred by Hutu militia in the western town of Kaduha [File: Corinne Dufka/Reuters]
The international community’s failure to intervene has been a cause of lingering shame, with French President Emmanuel Macron expected to release a message on Sunday saying that France and its Western and African allies “could have stopped” the bloodshed but lacked the will to do so.



Derek Kanalo
the authorDerek Kanalo
News Reporter/ Editor
Am a professionally trained and well skilled media personality. Accuracy is part of my top priority as a journalist.