Date created : 07/04/2019 – 09:52Latest update : 07/04/2019 – 11:05
Rwandans are gathering on Sunday to begin a solemn commemoration of the lives of 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus murdered during the Rwandan genocide, which began 25 years ago. To watch FRANCE 24’s live coverage, click on the player above.
The ceremony marks the beginning of a week of events to honour the dead and the start of one hundred days of mourning. Rwandan President Paul Kagame is scheduled to lay a wreath at Gisozi genocide memorial site, where over a quarter a million of people are buried.
In the afternoon, officials will join around 2,000 people in a “walk to remember” from parliament to the national football stadium, where candles will be lit in a night vigil. 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.
At least 10 heads of state were expected to attend, Stephanie Nyombayire, head of communication at the president’s office, told journalists on Saturday.
Former colonial ruler Belgium is sending Prime Minister Charles Michel.
But French President Emmanuel Macron is not attending, with France represented by Herve Berville, a 29-year old Rwandan-born member of parliament in Paris.
Canadian Governor General Julie Payette and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker were also expected.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS and AFP)
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