Remembering Rwanda: 30 Years Since the Genocide

Genocide Memorial Space - A Symbol of Rwanda's Remembrance
Remembering Rwanda: 30 Years Since the Genocide

On April 7, 2024, Rwanda marked the 30th anniversary of the genocide orchestrated by armed Hutu extremists. This 100-day massacre, which began on April 7, 1994, claimed the lives of approximately 800,000 people, mostly Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

Historical Context and Aftermath:

The genocide followed the assassination of President Juvénal Habyarimana, a Hutu, on April 6, 1994. The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a rebel group mainly composed of Tutsi refugees, captured Kigali in July 1994, effectively ending the killing spree. Millions of Rwandans were displaced, with many seeking refuge in neighboring countries. The international criminal tribunal for Rwanda, established by the United Nations, played a crucial role in bringing some perpetrators to justice.

30th Commemoration in 2024:

The 30th commemoration ceremony held in Kigali was attended by global leaders, including Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Clinton acknowledged the genocide as the biggest failure of his administration, highlighting the international community’s shortcomings in preventing the tragedy. India was represented by Secretary (Economic Relations) Dammu Ravi of the Ministry of External Affairs.

Qutub Minar Lit Up in Rwandan National Flag Colors:

As a sign of solidarity, the Qutub Minar in Delhi was illuminated with the colors of the Rwandan national flag on April 7, 2024. The Qutub Minar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a 73-meter tall minaret built in the 12th century by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the founder of the Delhi Sultanate. This gesture served as a powerful symbol of India’s support for Rwanda during the commemoration.

This somber occasion reminds us of the importance of preventing such atrocities in the future and the need for international cooperation and intervention to protect human lives.

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