Published: Mon, April 08, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Gov. Gen Julie Payette attends memorial for 25th anniversary of Rwandan genocide

Gov. Gen Julie Payette attends memorial for 25th anniversary of Rwandan genocide

Payette, who is leading a Canadian delegation on a four-day visit to the east African country, visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial that is the final resting place of roughly 250,000 victims of the genocide.

Rwanda on Sunday somberly commemorated the start, 25 years ago, of its genocide in which some 800,000 people were killed, as the country continues to grapple with the lasting consequences of the mass killings.

Ethnic reconciliation has been a cornerstone of the rule of Paul Kagame, Rwanda's de facto leader since the genocide ended in July 1994 and the country's president since 2000.

At least 10 heads of state were expected to attend, Stephanie Nyombayire, head of communication at the president's office, told journalists on Saturday.

Some of the activities at the event included the Kigali Genocide Memorial, the Wreaths laying ceremony and Lighting of the Flame by the President of the Republic of Rwanda and Special Guests.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said "the duty of remembrance must be a sacred requirement".

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A tree planting ceremony and a commemorative plaque were unveiled by the Mayor of Limerick in Clare Street Park in a ceremony organised by Bohar - a charity group which has sent thousands of animals, including in-calf heifers, goats, and hens to Rwanda to help families become self-sustained over the past 28 years. "It will scientifically evaluate, on the basis of archives, the role that France played in Rwanda from 1990 to 1994", the presidency said.

The 100 days of slaughter began on April 6, 1994, after President Juvenal Habyarimana and his counterpart Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi - both Hutus - were killed when their plane was shot down over the Rwandan capital.

France, which supported the Hutu government as part of...

Macron was not the only notable absence; former ally Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni was also absent, amid a diplomatic spat between the two nations.

Kagame has won praise for ending that violence and making advances in economic development and health care. Last year, authorities in Rwanda found discovered mass graves they say contain 5,400 bodies of genocide victims.

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