4 June 2018

Rwanda: What the Russia Foreign Minister Said at Kigali Genocide Memorial

Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov held a one-day working visit in Rwanda on Sunday where he met top government officials, a visit that sought to strengthen ties with both Rwanda and the African Union.

One of the highlights of his visit was a tour at the Kigali Genocide Memorial (KGM) where he paid tribute to the hundreds of thousands of victims of the 1994 Genocide against that Tutsi interred there.

Accompanied by a delegation made of Russian and Rwandan officials, Lavrov made a tour of the museum and laid a wreath to the mass graves holding over 250,000 bodies of Tutsi killed within and around Kigali.

In his message which he wrote in the visitors' book at the memorial site, the top Russian diplomat expressed his deepest empathy to the national tragedy.

"I deeply sympathize with the friendly people of Rwanda upon the national tragedy that befell them. The terrible misfortune that struck them a quarter of a century ago remains an unhealed wound in the hearts of millions of people," his message, originally written in Russian, reads in part.

He also wrote that all possible efforts should be undertaken to prevent such kind of heinous acts and to take a stand against xenophobia, racial and religious intolerance.

In conclusion, he said that "all the steps and measures that are being implemented by President Paul Kagame to strengthen inter-ethnic balance and harmony in his country are invaluable".

His visit culminated into a meeting with President Paul Kagame and later his counterpart Louise Mushikiwabo with whom they addressed a joint news conference.

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