Rwanda is today honoring the victims of the Genocide that occured 22 years ago.
According to Julienne Uwacu, the country’s Minister for Sports and Culture, remembrance events will kick off at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre where president Kagame will lay a wreath at mass graves at the site before lighting the Flame of Hope.
He will be joined by genocide survivors, government officials, and diplomats. Already , Tanzania’s president John Magufuli is on a two day visit in the east African country and is expected to join the event.
The theme for this year is “Kwibuka22: Fighting Genocide Ideology.”
The memorial centre is home to the remains of over 250,000 people who were brutally killed.
The killings took place in a span of 100 days and left at least 800,000 people dead, most of whom were Tutsis .
Throughout the week, the Rwandan flag will be flying at half-mast in honour of the victims and the commemoration events are expected to continue across the country through to July 3.
The genocide was sparked by the death of the Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, when his plane was shot down above Kigali airport on 6 April 1994.
After the genocide, traditional community courts known as Gacaca dealt with about 2 million cases and assisted in reconciliation.
The U.N.-backed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, based in Tanzania, has also tried suspects who perpetrated violence.
Despite its dark past, Rwanda has won praise for its transformation and is among the countries that has recorded the fastest economic growth in Sub Saharan Africa, in the past decade.