Rwanda Remembers

Photo Credit: borneobulletin.brunei-online.com

On April 7th every year Rwanda holds a Kwibuka ceremony, honoring the million lives lost through genocide 20 years ago. Kwibuka is the Kinyarwanda word for ‘remember’ and describes the global commemoration framework.

Kwibuka20 calls on the world to stand against genocide in three key ways:

To remember:

Honoring the memory of those who died. Offering support to those who survived.

To unite:

Rwanda shows that reconciliation through shared human values is possible. We ask the world to do the same.

To renew:

As we build Rwanda anew, we are humbled to share our experiences and learn from others. Let’s create a better world together.

Rwanda invites the world to join Kwibuka20

Join by learning about the genocide, creating or joining a commemoration event and leaving a message of remembrance at www.kwibuka.rw.

The launch will take place at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Gisozi, Kigali. It will be marked by the lighting of the Kwibuka Flame (flame of remembrance) which will then travel through Rwanda’s thirty districts before returning to Kigali on April 7, 2014, the commencement of the national mourning period.

There will be four key events on April 7, 2014 in Rwanda. They include the laying of wreaths and lighting of the National Flame of Mourning at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, National Commemoration at Amahoro Stadium and the Walk to Remember from Parliament to Amahoro Stadium where a Night Vigil will be held. The Kwibuka Flame symbolizes remembrance as well as the resilience and courage of Rwandans over the past twenty years.

Wreath Laying and Lighting of the National Flame of Mourning and National Commemoration

On the morning of April 7, 2014, President Paul Kagame will join families from across Rwanda and special guests from around the world to honor the memory of those who perished in the Genocide against the Tutsi.

National Commemoration

The President will receive the Kwibuka flame and use it to light the National Flame of Mourning that will burn for 100 days. Once the flame has been lit at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, Rwandans will come together at Amahoro Stadium with international friends to mark the 20th commemoration of the genocide.

Walk to Remember and Vigil

On the afternoon of April 7, 2014, a walk to remember the victims of the genocide will travel from Rwanda’s Parliament to Amahoro stadium. The Walk to Remember was created by young Rwandans as a way to take a stand against genocide and mass atrocities. A candle lit vigil at the stadium will include songs, photo montages and footage from Kwibuka20 events from around the world

A week of mourning across the country follows these ceremonies.

The first version of this article was posted on 7 Apr 2014 at 4:02 PM.