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

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs