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Monday, 7 April 2014

International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda - April 7, 2014.


The start date of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, 7 April, has been designated by the UN General Assembly as the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda. On or around that date, the UN organizing or participating in commemorative events in many countries this year, including in Armenia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Colombia, Congo, Czech Republic, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

The memorial ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York will take place on 16 April, at 6:15 p.m. It will be webcast live at webtv.un.org. The memorial ceremony will be followed by the opening of an exhibit organized by the Government of Rwanda in the UN Visitors Centre.



Kwibuka 20 - Commemoration ceremony at the Amahoro National Stadium (Kigali, Rwanda).
7 Apr 2014 - Kwibuka 20 - Commemoration ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide at the Kigali’s National Stadium Amahoro (“peace”) where, in 1994, thousands of Rwandans found refuge.

 

President Kagame to light flame in memory of victims of 1994 massacres amid fresh diplomatic row with France.


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.

People everywhere should place themselves in the shoes of the vulnerable, and ask themselves what more they can do to build a world of human rights and dignity for all.
Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General 

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.

Ban Ki-moon, Commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide (Kigali, Rwanda)
7 Apr 2014 - Remarks by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the commemoration ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide (Kwibuka 20), Kigali, Rwanda




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.



7 billion Others - Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide (07 April).
'They said that the Tutsis were bad, this is why we killed them'. Let’s commit to remember the more than 800,000 innocent people so brutally murdered, as we pay tribute to the bravery and resilience of the survivors.


Video portraits from Rwanda to celebrate the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide 2014. On selected days the United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe, in partnership with the Good Planet Foundation, posts video clips from the 7 billion Others project to communicate the fears, dreams, ordeals and hopes of citizens from all over world.
Rwanda, 20 Years Later.

 April 7, 1994 marked the beginning of the Rwandan genocide. This massacre took place over the course of 100 days, killing almost 20% of the population. 20 years on from this brutal tragedy, Rwanda has transformed itself into a thriving nation with significant development gains. With the support of the UN, Rwanda is on track to achieving nearly all the Millennium Development Goals. Over a million people have been lifted out of extreme poverty. Economic growth has averaged 8% a year. Infant mortality is down 61%, while three quarters of the population now have access to drinking water. Following parliamentary elections last year, women make up 64% of MPs, the highest proportion in the world. So, while we must never forget and continue to honor the lives lost and the bravery of so many survivors. We can also use this commemoration to be inspired. A country, once consumed with violence, has shown the world that it can rebuild and reunite. (Photos: UNDP, UNICEF)

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