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Rwandan Genocide: Paul Kagame Light flames in remembrance of the victims

Rwandan honors 26years of the 1994 Genocide

Today marks exactly 26 years since the catastrophic genocide that killed hundreds of thousands of people in Rwanda. This day has been set aside to honor and keep memory of the gone souls and also preserve the history.

As part of the ceremony, wreaths of white flowers are laid with flames lightened at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. This flame is expected to burn for 100 days, which covers the period of the genocide.

This event used to attract many dignitaries but due to the pandemic, the number has been limited. The event which commenced today saw President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame taking the lead to lay the wreath and light the flame of remembrance at the Kigali Genocide Memorial to honor the over 1 million victims of the Genocide.

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Rwanda Genocide: Flame of Remembrance (AFP or licensors)

BACKGROUND

On the 7th of April, 1994, ethnic violence between two tribes in Rwanda: The Tutsis and the Hutus. This happened President Juvénal Habyarimana of the country’s Hutu majority died in a plane crash, along with Burundi’s Hutu president.

Consequently, there arose an accusation by the Hutus who claimed that, the accident was orchestrated and that the Tutsi rebels deliberately shot down the plane. Out of this misunderstanding, chaos ensued between the two tribes which ended up claiming lots of lives.

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A Rwandan woman collapses with her baby on her back on the road near Goma, Zaire, in 1994. Many Rwandans fled across the border into what was then Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ulli Michel/Reuters /Landov

This 100-day massacre brought economic recession to Rwanda and presented a hopeless situation which many thought the country could not have resurrected from. However, the situations have turned around and the country is back and doing well than even nations that never suffered anything of that sort.

Today, Rwanda under the strong leadership of President Paul Kagame has developed marvelously and is now perceived as the heart of Africa. May the souls of the victims rest in peace!

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