The Kigali Genocide Memorial will host the 23rd Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. More than 400 guests including international leaders, dignitaries, survivors and their families and representatives of survivor organisations will attend the ceremony on 7 April 2017.
As part of the commemoration, the Guests of Honour will lay wreaths on the burial place and light the Flame of Remembrance, Urumuri Rutazima, beginning the 100 days of mourning. The Flame of Remembrance symbolises the courage and resilience of Rwandans over the last 23 years. The commemoration period is known as Kwibuka, the Kinyarwanda word for remembrance.
“The Kigali Genocide Memorial is a place for remembrance and learning. As we mark the 23rd Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi, we welcome and will support those who come to pay respects to their loved ones buried here. During Kwibuka23, the memorial will inform and educate visitors about genocide prevention and Rwanda’s progress since 1994. We invite all Rwandans and international guests to visit the memorial for Kwibuka23,” said Honore Gatera, Manager of the Kigali Genocide Memorial.
Speaking on Kwibuka23 activities, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide, Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana, called on Rwandans and friends of Rwanda to join the fight against genocide ideology: “We will spend the rest of our lives fighting genocide ideology – with all the tools in our possession. Good governance, continued and sustainable growth and remembering our loved ones are our weapons of choice,” Dr Bizimana said.
Education is key to fighting genocide ideology and denial. As a place of remembrance and learning, the Kigali Genocide Memorial plays an important role in educating about genocide and mass atrocities so that ‘Never Again’ is a reality.