Rwanda Marks 19th Anniversary of the 1994 Genocide

The activities officially last a week, but the commemoration continues up to July 4, marking 100 days of genocide.
Rwandans all over the world will today commemorate the 19th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide during which the country lost close to a million citizens as extremist Hutu groups went on a killing spree against Tutsi and moderate Hutu.


The focus of this year's commemoration will be on self reliance.

The observance that ends on April 7th of every year begins with a commemoration week that involves several activities like visiting and laying wreaths at memorial sites, according decent burial to exhumed genocide remains, giving testimonies, public lectures, and candle lighting vigils.


The activities officially last a week, but the commemoration continues up to July 4, marking 100 days of genocide.


This year’s memorial is held under the theme “Let’s remember the Genocide against the Tutsi as we strive for self-reliance.”


Unlike the previous event, where people could converge at Amahoro National Stadium in Kigali  as early as 7a.m for the Genocide observance main function, this time the commemoration will marked  at village level.


Jean de Dieu Mucyo, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission against Genocide (CNLG), told Uganda Radio network that the commemoration week kicks off early in the morning with meetings at every village.


The events of the day include laying wreaths at the Genocide Memorial Centre, a ceremony that will be led by  President Paul Kagame and other senior government officials at a mass grave that contains over 250,000 remains of Genocide victims.


They will also light a flame of hope that will last for 100 days.


At around noon, a minute of silence will be observed in remembrance of the victims.


Later in the day the celebrations will be shifted to Amahoro stadium after a walk through the streets of Kigali under the theme “Remember, Honor and Rebuild”.


The ‘Name Reading’ part of the event will see participants reading 100 names of people who were killed in the Genocide.


19 years on, Rwandans are looking forward to build a bright and self reliant country without forgetting what happened in1994.


Despite managing to rise from the ashes and build a resilient nation which is also one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the Rwandan Government has been accused of dictatorship and suffocating its citizens by employing touch policies.


Many Rwandan nationals termed as anti-government have fled into Uganda, DRC, Tanzania and South Africa.


Analysts argue that if this trend is not reversed, the gains made since 1994 are likely to be lost.