Rwandan President Paul Kagame has warned those at home and abroad who “move around spreading false reports aimed at denying 1994 genocide in Rwanda.”
The president made the remark on Tuesday after the lighting of the “Flame of Hope” at Kigali Genocide Memorial Center, which will burn for 100 days during the 21st anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda.
Genocide was sparked when a plane carrying the ex-Rwandan president, Juvenal Habyarimana (a member of the ethnic Hutu majority) was shot down on April 6, 1994, killing all on board.
Rwandan Hutus blamed ethnic Tutsis for the attack and sought immediate revenge. Hutu extremists used machetes, clubs, blunt objects and other deadly weapons to rape, maim and kill their Tutsi neighbors.
Kagame also blamed the international community for “being reluctant towards eliminating the FDLR”, the militia group largely blamed for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
“Our country will never stand any chances of those trying to bring genocide revisionism and taking us back to dark days. We are ready to fight for our rights,” he said.
He said Rwanda has “changed for good and forever”, saying that reconstruction, unity and reconciliation are the center stage.
“We must condemn revisionism as we honor the memory of the victims and the survivors of Genocide by standing up for truth and justice,” he said.
Kagame said the Genocide perpetrators are being treated like VIPs in foreign countries and walking freely spreading false information about genocide in Rwanda.
“Our past has given us unprecedented strength to face challenges. We were bruised, but we are still standing and we are not going anywhere. World rushed to solve the problem of M23 rebels in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo but continues to ignore genocide perpetrators,” he said.
The memorial observance that falls on April 7 begun with a commemoration week that involves several activities among others, visiting and laying wreaths at memorial sites, according decent burial to exhumed Genocide remains, giving testimonies, public lectures, candle lighting vigils and outreach activities to vulnerable survivors of the Genocide, among others.
The commemoration will continue till July 4, marking 100 days of Genocide.
This year’s memorial primarily focuses more on engaging the national and the international community about the issue of genocide denial and revisionism, the organizers say.
More than a million people died in the carefully planned massacre that lasted 100 days from April to July.
At the memorial center, the Head of State laid a wreath in honor of more than 250,000 Genocide victims interred at the memorial.
As part of commemoration, Rwandan citizens have converged at the village level to pay tribute to the genocide victims where public talk-shows are being be held, featuring lectures on how the Genocide ideology and denial can be tackled. Enditem