VP Osinbajo Departs Nigeria To Attend 25th Commemoration Of Rwandan Genocide

Rwandan President Paul Kagame

Rwandan President Paul Kagame

The 61-year-old president, who has led the country since the end of the genocide, is scheduled to make a speech at the Kigali Convention Centre.

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette laid a wreath at a memorial in Rwanda's capital today to mark 25 years since the start of a genocide that left an estimated 800,000 people dead.

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The 1994 genocide killed more than one million people and displaced millions more over a period of 100 days. The Amahoro National Stadium - whose name means "peace" in Rwanda's Kinyarwanda language - was used by the United Nations during the genocide to protect thousands of people of the Tutsi minority from being massacred on the streets outside.

Besides the president, First Lady Jeannette Kagame, African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker jointly lit the flame of remembrance after laying wreaths together with other heads of state and government at the memorial. The attackers have never been identified.

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The Tutsi minority was blamed for downing the plane and bands of Hutu extremists began slaughtering the Tutsi, with support from the army, police, and militias.

In villages across the densely populated country, neighbour turned on neighbour as men, women and children were hacked to death, burned alive, clubbed and shot.

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The Rwandan government on Sunday morning started commemoration marking the 25th anniversary of the 1994 Rwandan genocide against Tutsi, raising the curtain of a three-month remembrance period.

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