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French president Emmanuel Macron pays respect to genocide victims at Gisozi

This Thursday 27th may 2021, French president Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron visited the Kigali Genocide memorial centre and paid respect to victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

President Macron who is in Rwanda for a two days State Visit has arrived in Kigali this Thursday morning on a historic visit that is seen as a big statement towards the normalization of the ties between his country and Rwanda.

He was received at Kigali International Airport by Dr Vincent Biruta, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

At the Kigali Genocide Memorial centre, he was received by Johnston Busingye, Minister of Justice and Attorney General and Dr Jean-Damascène Bizimana, Executive secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) as well as representatives of Genocide survivors.  

After guided tour of the memorial exhibits and learning more on the causes, reality and consequences of the Genocide against the Tutsis as well as the incredible stories of post-genocide reconstruction President Macron delivered a 15-minute speech addressed mainly to survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

In his speech, he recalled the uniqueness of the genocide.

“These words speak of a tragedy that bears a name: genocide. However, they do not boil down to it. Because it is indeed a life, with all its dreams, a million times broke.  Genocide cannot be compared. It has a genealogy. It has a story. It is unique”, he said.

“Genocide has a target. The killers had only one criminal obsession: the eradication of Tutsi, of all Tutsi. Men, women, their parents, their children. This obsession won over all who wanted to stand in the way, but it never lost its target.

Genocide comes a long way. It is prepared. It takes possession of the spirits, methodically, to abolish the humanity of the other. It takes its source in fantasized stories, in strategies of domination erected in scientific evidence. It settles down through every day humiliations, separations, deportations. Then comes absolute hatred, the mechanics of extermination”, he added.

He also added that “Genocide cannot be erased. It is indelible. There is never an end. We do not live after the genocide, we live with it, as we can”.

After his visit to the Kigali genocide memorial centre, President Emmanuel Macron  engaged in a number of activities including the  opening of  the new French Cultural Centre that is located in Rugando, in Kimihurura, Gasabo District and the  visit to Rwandan Presidency for a state banquet with President Paul Kagame with whom they later on held a joint press conference, during which they talked about the prospects for the bilateral ties of both countries.

Macron’s visit comes at a time when the relations between Rwanda and France are making good progress.

The role of France in the Genocide against the Tutsi has always been a thorn in the flesh in the relations between the two countries.

Earlier this year, a commission of experts appointed by President Macron concluded that the European country had “a huge responsibility” in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.