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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid