The European Union has expressed solidarity with Rwanda as it commemorates the 25th anniversary of the 1994 genocide Against Tutsi.
The tragic incident saw more than one million people lose their lives and millions others flee their homes. Many families were torn apart in the 100-day period between April and July. Many of those who fled the country are yet to return to date.
In a statement released on Saturday, the EU praised Rwanda’s progress since the end of the genocide, and urged the international community to continue supporting the country.
“25 years later Rwanda is in many ways a transformed country thanks to the determination of the people of Rwanda to rebuild both their lives and their country, and to pursue national reconciliation. In these ongoing efforts, the Rwandan people deserve the continued support and solidarity of the international community,” the statement read in part.
“These acts of remembrance provide also an opportunity to reflect on the lessons of the past, for the region and the world at large, at a moment in which upholding universal values, ensuring accountability and promoting effective multilateralism are more relevant than ever.”
Various world leaders are in Kigali to attend the commemoration of the quarter century anniversary of the genocide against Tutsi, including, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso, Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou, Djibouti President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel among others.
As part of the event, the leaders will lay wreaths on the mass graves at the Kigali Genocide Memorial where over 250,000 people were buried. Rwandans will also be allowed to pay their respects to their lost loved ones.
Sunday’s commemoration will then kick-start a week-long mourning period in honor of those who lost their lives in the genocide.