News / Africa

Memorial Torch Shines Light on Rwanda's Past and Present

Memorial Torch Shines Light on Rwanda's Past and Presenti
X
Gabe Joselow
April 04, 2014 1:35 AM
A traveling memorial torch is making its way across Rwanda on the way to Kigali for commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the most recent stop in the town of Ndera east of the capital.
Gabe Joselow
A traveling memorial torch is making its way across Rwanda on the way to Kigali for commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.  The most recent stop was in the town of Ndera east of the capital.

In a simple ceremony, neither solemn nor formal, the flame of remembrance is passed from town to town, giving each region of the country its chance to reflect on how far Rwanda has come since the genocide 20 years ago.

Organizers say the flame represents remembrance, resillience and courage.

Hundreds of people have turned out to observe the ceremony ahead of a national week of mourning that takes place every year.

Phocas Kabayire is among those paying respect.

“The reason why I came here is because of this flame, which shows where we came from and where we are going, and also it makes us stronger to remember what happened in this country," said Kabayire.

A video depicts the horror of the genocide, when ethnic Hutu extremists killed hundreds of thousands of ethnic Tutsis and some moderate Hutus.

Today, ethnicity is rarely mentioned. And attendees here, like Ariette Kancime, say old divides have been mended.

“The reconciliation has been successful. Even though I wasn't here during the genocide, I can see the way people are forgiving each other. Frankly speaking, the survivors have forgiven the killers," said Kancime.

For those who are too young to remember the genocide, the memorial serves as a lesson to avoid a repeat of the past.

Defense Minister James Kabarebe issued a stern warning to those who threaten the government.

“There are some who tried to [take the country backward] and there are those who have this ideology, they are there, but what I know, they will die with that ideology," said Kabarebe.

His message follows the recent assassination of a Rwandan opposition leader in South Africa. The government denies involvement in the killing.

From here the torch will travel to the capital, where the president will on Monday use it to light a national flame of mourning.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid