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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More