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Remember, Unite, Renew

Rwanda 20 years after the genocide

The torch that is crossing the country.

The torch that is crossing the country.

On April 6th 1994, the Hutu president Juvenal Habyarimana's plane was shot down by a missile. The next day, the extermination of the Tutsis by the Hutu majority began, which led to the deaths of more than 800 thousand people in a period of only 100 days.

Rwanda is preparing to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the genocide with a number of initiatives. The most significant is certainly the ceremony of laying wreaths and the lighting of the torch in memory of the genocide. The flame, which travels the country for months, comes along with President Kagame and the families of the victims on April 7th to the Museum of Genocide in Kigali, where it will remain on for 100 days, the same 100 days when the massacre took place .


Of particular interest is the road map for the event and the fact that the Parliament will take participants to Rwanda Amahoro stadium where, in the light of the candles, one can hear the testimonies of survivors and observe the events of the rest of the world.


On the occasion of this anniversary, the United Nations Outreach Program for the genocide in Rwanda is initiating an important project, Kwibuka20 (Kwibuka is a Rwandan term that means "to remember"). The core of this program is contained in three key words: remember, unite, renew. Remember, to honor the memory of all those who lost their lives during the genocide and offer comfort to their families, unite, to nourish a spirit of reconciliation that allows the rebirth of the country and the national spirit, and renew, to have the vision a future of hope for the younger generation.


Kwibuka20 is not a program designed exclusively for Rwanda, as it calls all over the world to join in the remembrance of genocide, including through the project,  A Million Voices Against Genocide, a way to share a voice message, a video, a text, a photograph, a design and remember the importance of memory.


In Italy, the official celebrations will be held in Rome, Monday, April 7th, 2014, in the Hall of the Capitol Protomoteca. In particular, the meeting at 9.30, which was chaired by the President of Rwanda Françoise Kankindi of the movement Feel Good Globally, Act Locally. The institutions for the culture of coexistence, with Ignazio Marino, Mayor of Rome, Lidia Ravera, councilor for culture and sport of the Lazio Region, Francesco Alicicco councilor in Rwanda, Fabio Graziosi, UNRIC responsible for Italy, Gianluca Peciola, vice president of the Culture Commission Roma Capitale and Paul Rich, President of the Waldensian Table.


Next, we see The Wounds of Silence. In Rwanda before, during and after 1994, with the testimony of Yolande Mukagasana, survivor of the genocide, writer, activist assistance to survivors who since 2012 is represented by a tree in the Garden of the Righteous Milan.

1 April 2014

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Rwanda 1994

the extermination of Tutsis and moderate Hutus

From 6 April to 16 July 1994 Rwanda, a small country of Central Africa's region of the Great Lakes, was the scene of the genocide against the Tutsis and the moderate Hutus perpetrated by the extremists of the Hutu Power and the members of Akazu.
The region of Rwanda-Burundi, which was explored at the end of the Nineteenth century by the Germans, is assigned by the Society of Nations to Belgium for a mandate, in 1924. Fortified by the physiognomic theories of the Nineteenth century, Belgians placed their trust on the Tutsi ethnic group, which had conquered the crown around the Sixteenth century, unifying the country and establishing a feudal regome subjugating Hutus and Twas. In 1933 Belgians added the ethnical belonging to the Tutsis or Hutus to the data of the Rwandan ID cards.

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Featured story

Yolande Mukagasana

a survivor and witness from Rwanda