Rwanda begins 100-day mourning for genocide victims

08 April 2019 | Africa

Rwanda yesterday began 100 days of mourning for more than 800 000 people slaughtered in a genocide that shocked the world, a quarter of a century on from the day it began.

President Paul Kagame started off a week of commemoration activities by lighting a remembrance flame at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, where more than 250 000 victims are believed to be buried, mainly from the Tutsi people. They are only some of those killed by the genocidal Hutu forces, members of the old army and militia forces called the “Interahamwe”, that began their bloody campaign of death on April 7, 1994, the day after the assassination of President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu. Some were shot; most were beaten or hacked by machetes.

The killings lasted until Kagame, then 36, led the mainly Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) into Kigali on July 4, ending the slaughter and taking control of the devastated country. Kagame, now 61 and who has been in power ever since, is leading the memorial to the dead.

After lighting the flame, accompanied by his wife Jeanette, African Union chief Moussa Faki and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Kagame is expected to make a speech. He will speak at the Kigali Convention Centre, a dome-shaped auditorium in the centre of the capital, a modern building emblematic of the regeneration of Rwanda since the dark days of 1994. Kagame will then preside over a vigil at the country's main football ground. The Amahoro National Stadium - whose name means “peace” in Rwanda's Kinyarwanda language - was used by the UN during the genocide to protect thousands of people of the Tutsi minority from being massacred on the streets outside. In past years, ceremonies have triggered painful flashbacks for some in the audience, with crying, shaking, screaming and fainting amid otherwise quiet vigils.

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

A quarter of a century on, the east African nation has recovered economically, but the trauma still casts a dark shadow. Kagame has kept an authoritarian hold as he steers the small, landlocked East African nation through economic recovery. Growth in 2018 was a heady 7.2%, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB).



NAMPA/AFP

Similar News

 

Namibian companies consider AfCFTA boon

2 weeks ago - 19 November 2019 | Africa

CATHERINE SASMANNamibia recently signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) that could potentially unlock the massive African market of 1.2 billion people as the...

Small burial for Mugabe

2 months ago - 30 September 2019 | Africa

The body of Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe was buried on Saturday in his rural village of Kutama, an AFP reporter at the scene said.The...

Another dos Santos falls

2 months ago - 30 September 2019 | Africa

One year ago, the dos Santos family handed the Angolan presidency over to Joao Lourenco. The new president promised to tackle corruption which crippled the...

South Africans are not xenophobic

2 months ago - 17 September 2019 | Africa

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has apologised for the violent attacks by South Africans against nationals of other African countries, saying South Africans are not...

Mugabe: Hero or zero?

2 months ago - 16 September 2019 | Africa

Some believe the late Robert Mugabe was thrown into the dustbin of history when he was deposed as president of Zimbabwe in 2017, yet many...

Mugabe: Liberation hero turned despot

3 months ago - 06 September 2019 | Africa

Robert Mugabe, who has died aged 95, used repression and fear to hold on to power in Zimbabwe for 37 years until he was finally...

Namibia urges vigilance after SA attacks

3 months ago - 03 September 2019 | Africa

The Namibian High Commission in South Africa has issued an advisory, urging countrymen and women in and around the Gauteng Province to be vigilant following...

Strengthening news from the sub-region

3 months ago - 20 August 2019 | Africa

The Southern African Broadcasting Association (Saba), in partnership with the national broadcasters of countries in the region, officially commissioned the Eye on SADC news programme...

Bureau Veritas inspires

3 months ago - 16 August 2019 | Africa

Bureau Veritas Southern Africa, the global leader in testing, inspection and certification, continues to spark interest in the southern African professional working environment. The company...

SADC condoles with Tanzania after fuel tanker...

3 months ago - 11 August 2019 | Africa

Outgoing SADC chair President Hage Geingob has extended condolences to the government and people of Tanzania over the victims of a fuel tanker explosion, which...

Latest News

Creating a digital mindset for...

2 days ago - 06 December 2019 | Opinion

Jason AverbookDo you ever look back on your New Year’s resolutions (if you make them)? Do you even remember what they were? Maybe you resolve...

Article 47 bites back at...

2 days ago - 06 December 2019 | Politics

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has approached attorney-general Albert Kawana for legal advice on how to deal with the situation arising from its enforcement...

Retrenched fishermen narrate ordeal

2 days ago - 06 December 2019 | Fishing

“My car was repossessed by the bank as I could no longer honour my payment obligations,” Sylvester Mbadi, a former employee of Namsov, has told...

Economic misery fuels suicides

2 days ago - 06 December 2019 | Health

Close to 400 people died by suicide between January and September 2019 and experts warn that Namibia's economic crisis, lack of jobs and the crippling...

Highly mechanised

2 days ago - 06 December 2019 | People

Justicia Shipena Vivacious Marco Swart is a mechanical technician in the packaging engineering department at Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) - a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver...

Compassion is the new fashion

2 days ago - 06 December 2019 | People

Evany van WykMarizelle Pienaar lives by the motto, “the more you have to do, the more you get done.” She believes in being a balanced...

Never say never

2 days ago - 06 December 2019 | People

Mariselle StofbergHester Uushona is a firm believer that being average in life is not an option. She strives towards making her mark while providing others...

Not all with be festive

2 days ago - 06 December 2019 | Columns

As the festive season approaches in full-force, many are yearning to spend time with their loved ones away from the stress work and the accompanying...

Talent knows no borders

2 days ago - 06 December 2019 | Cultural

Ester Kamati Still digesting the news after receiving his award on 30 November in Burkina Faso, Visagie is passionate about ensuring that the arts are...

Load More