Motilal Oswal
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Motilal Oswal
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Rwanda honours those killed in genocide 25 years ago

Updated : April 08, 2019 09:34 AM IST

Rwanda began a week of solemn ceremonies on Sunday to commemorate the lives of 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus murdered during the Rwandan genocide, a three-month-killing spree that began 25 years ago. President Paul Kagame laid a wreath at the Gisozi genocide memorial site, where over a quarter a million of people are buried, before an afternoon of speeches and song. Later, a candelit vigil was held in the packed national soccer stadium. "There is no way to fully comprehend the loneliness and anger of survivors and yet over and over again we have asked them to make the sacrifices necessary to give our nation new life. Emotions had to be put in a box," Kagame said, his tall, thin form projected onto television screens around the nation. "We are far better Rwandans than we were. But we can be even better still. We are the last people in the world who should succumb to complacency." 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. The attackers have never been identified. Among the legacies of the genocide is the International Criminal Court, which grew out of tribunals to investigate and prosecute those responsible for atrocities committed in Rwanda and during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

Participants hold candles while holding a night vigil during a commemoration ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, at the Amahoro stadium in Kigali, Rwanda April 7, 2019. (Reuters)
Participants hold candles while holding a night vigil during a commemoration ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, at the Amahoro stadium in Kigali, Rwanda April 7, 2019. (Reuters)
Participants hold candles while holding a night vigil during a commemoration ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, at the Amahoro stadium in Kigali, Rwanda April 7, 2019. (Reuters)
Participants hold candles while holding a night vigil during a commemoration ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, at the Amahoro stadium in Kigali, Rwanda April 7, 2019. (Reuters)
Sculls of victims of the Rwandan genocide that are part of a display inside the Ntarama church where they were killed in Ntarama, Rwanda April 6, 2019. (Reuters)
Sculls of victims of the Rwandan genocide that are part of a display inside the Ntarama church where they were killed in Ntarama, Rwanda April 6, 2019. (Reuters)
A wreath is seen at the Genocide Memorial in Gisozi in Kigali, Rwanda April 6, 2019. (Reuters)
A wreath is seen at the Genocide Memorial in Gisozi in Kigali, Rwanda April 6, 2019. (Reuters)
African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Jeannette Kagame and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, light the flame of hope during a commemoration ceremony of the 25th anniversary of the genocide at the Genocide Memorial in Gisozi in Kigali, Rwanda. April 7, 2019. (Reuters)
African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Jeannette Kagame and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, light the flame of hope during a commemoration ceremony of the 25th anniversary of the genocide at the Genocide Memorial in Gisozi in Kigali, Rwanda. April 7, 2019. (Reuters)
Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Jeannette Kagame arrive for a commemoration ceremony of the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide at the Genocide Memorial in Gisozi in Kigali, Rwanda. April 7, 2019.(Reuters)
Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Jeannette Kagame arrive for a commemoration ceremony of the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide at the Genocide Memorial in Gisozi in Kigali, Rwanda. April 7, 2019.(Reuters)
Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Jeannette Kagame and their oldest son Ivan Cyomoro Kagame attend a wreath laying ceremony during the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the genocide at the Genocide Memorial in Gisozi in Kigali, Rwanda April 7, 2019.(Reuters)
Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Jeannette Kagame and their oldest son Ivan Cyomoro Kagame attend a wreath laying ceremony during the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the genocide at the Genocide Memorial in Gisozi in Kigali, Rwanda April 7, 2019.(Reuters)
Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker attend a wreath laying ceremony during the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide at the Genocide Memorial in Gisozi in Kigali, Rwanda. April 7, 2019.(Reuters)
Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker attend a wreath laying ceremony during the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide at the Genocide Memorial in Gisozi in Kigali, Rwanda. April 7, 2019.(Reuters)
People take part in a silent walk to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide in Paris, France, April 7, 2019. (Reuters)
People take part in a silent walk to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide in Paris, France, April 7, 2019. (Reuters)
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