Rwanda: Reuters’ Take on the 20th

Today, I continue my 100 day series remembering the twentieth anniversary of Rwandan genocide. Please join me in prayer for those lives lost and impacted in this tragedy. #NeverAgain. LMH

I thought it would be interesting as a part of this series to see how Monday’s 20th anniversary commemoration of the Rwandan genocide in Kigali was handled by different press outlets. Today, I’d like to share Reuters’ coverage, headlined “Rwandans told ‘never again’, 20 years after genocide“.

(Reuters) – The United Nations chief told a packed stadium of sombre and weeping Rwandans on Monday the world would “never again” let genocide tear their nation apart, at a ceremony marking 20 years since 800,000 people were butchered.

A host of leaders and donors attended the commemoration, but France - an ally of the Rwandan government that ruled before the genocide – did not take part after rebel-turned-president, Paul Kagame, renewed charges of Paris’ “direct role” in the killings.

France has acknowledged mistakes in its dealings with Rwanda. But it has repeatedly dismissed accusations it trained militias to take part in the massacres and Kagame’s comments triggered fresh outrage in Paris on Monday.

Some in the crowd in Kigali were overcome with emotion on hearing a survivor’s account and stewards had to lead them out of the stadium. Many Rwandans lost entire families to killers armed with guns, grenades, machetes and cans of petrol.

A minute’s silence was punctuated by screams of dozens of survivors.

Read the full article here.

On the surface, this article is a clear reporting of the events at the memorial, but read a bit further and you see some pointing to residual tensions not only in the country, but also in the region. I was especially intrigued by this portion:

Many Rwandans, who have seen dramatic changes with new roads and other benefits, say Kagame has helped unite the nation.

“Before I would feel ashamed or afraid of saying anything at gatherings but now we feel that we are all Rwandan with no picture of ethnicity,” Samuel Munyarugerero, a 45-year-old Hutu and former soldier in the army before the genocide.

“Yes, Rwandans are reconciled.”

Some welcome the gains but worry about the methods.

“The politics of Rwanda is coercive,” said 33-year-old Hutu agronomist from Kigali, who like other critics asked not to be named for fear of repercussions. “If the government could mobilize people with no coercion, Rwanda would be much better.”

Kagame rejects the charge of restricting political rights.

Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us!

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About Lisa M. Hendey

Lisa Hendey is the founder and webmaster of CatholicMom.com and the author of The Grace of YesA Book of Saints for Catholic Moms and The Handbook for Catholic Moms. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and is a frequent television and radio guest and host. Visit her at LisaHendey.com and connect with her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.


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