Published: Tue, April 09, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Rwanda mourns the dead 25 years after genocide

Rwanda mourns the dead 25 years after 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.

Montrealers were joined by municipal, provincial and federal officials, in commmemorating the 25th anniversary of the start of the genocide in Rwanda.

About 800,000 Rwandans were killed during the 1994 genocide, majority from the country's Tutsi minority.

The Vice President is expected back into the country yesterday, according to Laolu Akande, his Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame laid a wreath and lit a flame at a memorial Sunday in his country's capital, Kigali, where more than 250,000 genocide victims are buried.

Speaking at commemoration services Sunday, Kagame said that Rwandans would never turn against each other again.

Leaders of Chad, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Niger, Belgium, Canada, Ethiopia and the African Union and European Union were among the many in attendance, The Associated Press reports.

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Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni will also not be there. Shortly after the genocide began, the U.N. Security Council pulled most of its peacekeepers out of Rwanda, causing the tragedy to be "compounded by the faltering response of the worldwide community", according to the U.N.

"Today, the government has united all Rwandans as one people with the same culture and history and is speeding up economic transformation", Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Oliver Nduhungihere said.

The attack mobilised Hutu government soldiers and alliedextremist militia, who orchestrated the genocide to exterminatethe Tutsi minority.

Mr Kagame, who has been criticised for being authoritarian, accused the then Hutu-led government of shooting down the plane and blamed France for turning a blind eye to the genocide.

On Friday, Macron appointed an expert panel to investigate France's actions at the time.

For many survivors, forgiveness remains hard when the bodies of their loved ones have not been found and many killers are still free.

Last year, authorities in Rwanda discovered mass graves they say contain 5,400 bodies of genocide victims.

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