The Government of Rwanda has demanded an apology from the Vatican for the role played by members of the Catholic Church in the 1994 genocide against Tutsi.
The demand comes days after Rwanda’s nine Catholic bishops apologised for some of the acts committed by some members of the Catholic Church during the genocide which claimed the lives of about one million people.
Rwanda’s catholic Bishops on Sunday, wrote a letter apologizing on behalf of the Church’s role in planning and executing the 1994 genocide against Tutsi which claimed million of lives.
However, the letter was not distributed to all dioceses across the country but only in Kigali, the letter was read three times at saint Famille in Kigali but was not mentioned at neighbouring Cathedral of Saint Michel.
In a statement the church acknowledged that church members planned, aided and carried out the genocide, in which more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by Hutu extremists.
A government statement released on the message of Rwandan Catholic bishops reads that instead of a genuine apology, the church is playing innocent and taking it as a negligible event.
The government said given the ample role the church played during the genocide, apology by the church is a step the Vatican should embrace itself, not local church.
In the spring of 1994, violence erupted in Rwanda after a plane carrying then President Juvenal Habyarimana was shot down.
Thousands of ethnic Tutsis, a minority group who became a target after the president’s death, sought refuge in the country’s Catholic and Protestant churches.