On the third day of his official visit to Rwanda, King Mohammed VI today visited Kigali Genocide memorial and observed a minute moment of silence behind a solitary bouquet of white roses in a tribute to 250, 000 genocide victims buried on this site. The world still remembers sadly the 1994 genocide against Tutsi where over a million lives were lost.
Inaugurated in April 2004, on the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, the Gisozi memorial includes three permanent exhibitions explaining the tragedy’s circumstances, reasons behind the growing tension between the country’s ethnic groups, what triggered the genocide and how it happened.
King Mohammed VI visited the exhibitions that trace Rwanda’s history from colonialism and the introduction of the Hutu and Tutsi classifications. They end with the devastating result of the divisions that were created, illustrated in hundreds of photos of the massacred, and rows of skulls and bones assembled in a silent, black room.
Undoubtedly this place matters. The victims and survivors matter. And they deserve our time, prayers and respect. The memorial is the final resting place for up to 259,000 victims of the genocide and serves as a place where people can grieve for their lost loved ones and remember them. It also serves as a museum where both local and international visitors can learn about the history, implementation and consequences of the genocide that wiped out a significant percentage of Rwanda’s population, caused millions to flee and traumatized survivors.
Rwandans are keen to educate us as to what happened and all the massacres that were perpetrated in the 100 days in 1994, to help us all learn from the past to ensure to promote the message clear NEVER AGAIN. They seem to be forgiving, but not forgetting.
Additionally, Executive Secretary of The National Commission for the Fight Against the Genocide, Dr. Bizimana Jean Damascène, presented his Majesty King Mohammed VI the book “We Survived”.
At the end of the visit, King Mohammed VI signed the guestbook.
That was a royal tribute to the victims of that universally condemned horrendous tragedy.