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Ruto visits Kigali Genocide Memorial, calls for peace

President William Ruto on April 4, 2023, visited the iconic Kigali Genocide Memorial.

The Kigali Genocide Memorial commemorates the 1994 Rwandan genocide and has the remains of over 250,000 people interred.

President Ruto took the opportunity to preach for peace within Africa.

Rwanda descended into anarchy in 1994, after a plane carrying then President Juvénal Habyarimana and his Burundian counterpart Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down as it prepared to land in Kigali.

These two deaths led to war between the Hutus and Tutsi tribe with hate speech broadcast on the radio and through word of mouth which encouraged Hutus to wipe out the Tutsis.

Roadblocks were set up around the country and the Interahamwe, the Hutu-extremist youth wing, began exterminating Rwandan Tutsis.

The genocide reportedly saw one million people killed in six months.

A French expert report in 2012 indicated that the plane was hit by missiles from a camp where Habyarimana’s own presidential guard was stationed at the time.

Rwanda, under President Paul Kagame, has emerged stronger from the crisis with the country now considered the cleanest in Africa and has transformed into a multi-purpose hub for tourism and business.

President Ruto who wooed Rwanda traders to consider using the Port of Mombasa for their imports and exports, was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua, and personal advisor Monica Juma.

President Ruto’s communication team explained the trip was of ‘mutual interest and cooperation’ for both countries including the integration projects on the Northern Corridor, the main supply line for imports out of the region to Rwanda, through Kenya.

Other factors are Trade expansion within the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) education, food security, innovation and ICT and health are the other issues on the agenda.

President Ruto who’s wooed Rwandan traders to use the Port of Mombasa is also expected to meet and chat with Kenyans living and working in Rwanda on the final of his two-day visit.

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