News / Africa

Rwandans in US Commemorate 20 Years Since Genocide

Rwandans in US Commemorate 20 Years Since Genocidei
X
April 09, 2014 2:22 AM
Rwandans all over the world this week are commemorating the 20th anniversary of the genocide in their country that took the lives of 800,000 people. VOA's Mariama Diallo joined the Rwandan diaspora community at one such observance in Washington.
Mariama Diallo
Rwandans all over the world this week are commemorating the 20th anniversary of the genocide in their country that took the lives of 800,000 people. One such observance was held by the Rwandan diaspora community in Washington.
 
Genocide survivors joined with U.S. and Rwandan officials, academics, human rights activists and performers to reflect on the Rwandan genocide 20 years ago.
 
Young performers were a painful reminder for genocide survivor Jacqueline Murekatete, who still has flashbacks. She was only nine years old in 1994.
 
“I still see women and children in my mind, vividly remember them being dragged to their death. I still remember the voices of children whom I had to listen to; whose arms and legs have been cut off; they’d be crying for their mothers and fathers who have already been killed," said Murekatete.
 
Murekatete lost her parents, her six siblings and part of her extended family. She said it's important to become actively involved in her country's healing, since there still are many challenges.
 
“A lot of women were raped and intentionally infected with HIV/AIDS. There are children who were born of those rapes and are just now coming to terms with their identity because they are learning the circumstances of their birth,” said Murekatete.
 
Edouard Kayihura, another genocide survivor, said there is one thing that haunts him.
 
“I lost parents, I lost cousins. I lost everyone in my family. It’s now me alone… Why did I survive? Maybe to tell this story,” he said.
 
Rwandan diplomat Yvette Rugasaguhunga said unity is important in moving on.
 
"The unity has to really go beyond the borders of Rwanda. That’s why we invited the world to commemorate with us to reflect on the lessons and make sure that never again is actually a reality in the world,” said Rugasaguhunga.
 
Gaetan Gatete, the head of the Rwandan-American community in the U.S., said he thought the world had learned its lesson.
 
“But unfortunately, after 20 years, we are still seeing it happen all over the world… in Central Africa and South Sudan,” said Gatete.
 
Still, his message is one of hope.
 
“We just don’t want to stay in 1994. There’s more to what happened to Rwanda. There’s a rebuilding of the country and of its people,” said Gatete.
 
Rwanda's ambassador to the U.S., Mathilde Mukantabana, said that while commemorating the genocide means reliving very difficult moments, it’s still important to find answers to why there was such hatred in her country. She said that she and others owe it to the victims, survivors and future generations to keep searching for answers.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dushimimaba from: Rwanda
April 09, 2014 9:00 AM
It is now knowns that Rwanda has lost *One million and Two hundrend Thousand people* We keep reading the number 8 00 000 in the international media but its not correct. the nember I mentioned is most recent update we have and it was done carefully and wisely by instutition in charge if you could also please count on that Rwanda will keep the appreciation on your hard work. Bless

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid