May 21, 2024

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President Kagame Shares Personal Story of Tragedy and Betrayal during 1994 Genocide in Kwibuka30 Speech

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda delivered a poignant speech during the Kwibuka30 commemoration marking the 30th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. In his remarks, President Kagame shared a personal story of tragedy and betrayal that his cousin, Florence, experienced during the genocide.

Florence, who worked for the United Nations Development Programme in Rwanda for over fifteen years, was trapped in her house near the Camp Kigali army barracks with her niece, children, and neighbors when the genocide began. Despite President Kagame’s efforts to rescue her by contacting the UN peacekeeping mission led by General Dallaire, Florence and most of those with her were ultimately killed after a month of torture.

President Kagame revealed that a Rwandan working at the UNDP had betrayed his Tutsi colleagues to the killers, celebrating Florence’s murder after the attack. This individual continued to work for the United Nations for years, even after evidence implicating him emerged.

General Dallaire informed President Kagame that his soldiers had encountered a militia roadblock near Florence’s house and had turned back, leaving her and the others vulnerable to attack. President Kagame expressed understanding for the difficult circumstances that General Dallaire faced but highlighted the stark contrast in the value attached to different lives during the genocide.

President Kagame emphasized that Rwanda will always challenge any ambiguity or denial about the genocide and will continue to seek justice for the victims. The story of Florence serves as a reminder of the tragic events that unfolded in 1994 and the need to ensure that such atrocities are never repeated.

READ THE FULL SPEECH

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