Today, April 7th, the start of Kwibuka 29 was marked at the Kigali Genocide Memorial as the President and First Lady of Rwanda lit the flame of remembrance which will burn for the next 100 days, recalling the 100 days of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994 in which a million people lost their lives.
After lighting the flame and placing a wreath at mass graves where 250,000 victims of the genocide have their final resting-place, the President addressed survivors and dignitaries at the Kigali Genocide Memorial’s amphitheatre, where speeches were also made by Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana, Minister of National Unity and Civic Engagement, and by Eric Mwizerwa, a survivor who shared the horrors he endured in 1994 and his journey towards healing.
“Everything we do to build peace and resilience against division is done in memory of all who have been murdered simply because of who they were. Those of us who have survived genocide remember them not as ciphers for the failure of humanity, but as the individuals and family members we grew up with, knew and loved,” says Freddy Mutanguha, Executive Director of the Aegis Trust. “We urge all of you around the World to join with us in remembrance today, and in renewed commitment to preventing anyone else experiencing such trauma, pain and loss in the future.”