Kwibuka24: Rwanda High Commission commemorates the 24th anniversary of the genocide

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Rwanda High Commission commemorates the 24th anniversary of the genocide

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The High Commission of Rwanda in New Delhi, India, in collaboration with the Dean of African Heads of Missions and UN Information Centre for India and Bhutan organised the 24th Commemoration of the Genocide against Tutsi in Nkwame Nkurumah Memorial Hall at the High Commission of Ghana on 10th April 2018.

The commemoration ceremony started with candle lighting presided by H.E. Ernest Rwamucyo, High Commissioner of Rwanda to India as a symbolic way to remember those who were cruelly killed.

Kwibuka means ‘remember’ in Kinyarwanda, Rwanda’s language. It designates the annual commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Each year’s commemoration activities are steered by a theme and this year’s theme is: “Remember-Unite-Renew”.

“We should all recall what happened in Rwanda in 1994 in order to learn lessons so as to shun such disasters. We should unite in order to pay our regards to those who lost their lives and offer our solidarity to the survivors. We should renew our promise to our earnest affirmation that never again shall such misfortune return in Africa and elsewhere in the world,” said the Rwandan envoy.

In a shocking incident, when Juvénal Habyarimana, President of Rwanda was returning from a conference in Tanzania on April 6, 1994, a surface-to-air missile shot his plane out of the sky over Rwanda's capital city of Kigali and all on board were killed in the crash.

For continuous four months (from April to July 1994), around 800,000 people, most of the Tutsi minority were brutally murdered by the members of the Hutu ethnic majority. Initiated by ferocious Hutu nationalists in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, the genocide blow-out throughout the nation with shocking speed and ruthlessness, as ordinary citizens were goaded by local officials and the Hutu Power government to take up arms against their neighbours. 

The Rwanda Genocide ended only when the RPF took over the country. The RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) was a trained military group comprising of Tutsis who had been evacuated in earlier years, many of whom lived in Uganda.

The RPF was finally able to enter Rwanda and gradually take over the country. In mid-July 1994, when the RPF had full control of the situation, the genocide was ultimately stopped.

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