Kigali, 8 April 2019 – A commemoration ceremony to pay tribute to the 10 Belgian Peacekeepers murdered in the first hours of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was held on Monday, 8 April 2019 at Camp Kigali.
Rwanda’s Prime Minister, Dr. Edouard Ngirente, alongside Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel paid tribute to the ten Belgian peacekeepers. The ceremony was also attended by a large delegation from Belgium, including family members of the peacekeepers.
In his speech, Prime Minister Dr. Eduard Ngirente expressed gratitude to his counterpart for having joined Rwandans for the 25th Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi. He also hailed the courage of the 10 Belgian peacekeepers and reiterated that the greatest tribute to pay to them was to always cement strong existing ties between the peoples and the two countries.
“A quarter of a century after the Genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda has resolutely chosen to turn the page on the future. We thank Belgium for being on the side of our country on this long journey to reconstruction. The Belgian peacekeepers had come to Rwanda, to contribute to peace, but they were savagely killed. Rwanda will always remember their courage and sacrifice in fighting evil. The greatest tribute to pay to the 10 killed Belgian peacekeepers is to always cement strong existing ties between our peoples and our two countries.” PM Ngirente said.
In his address, the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel stated that, 25 years after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the memory was still fresh and that any form of genocide denial has to be fought.
“25 years ago our 10 peacekeepers were savagely murdered. Twelve of our civilian compatriots were also victims of this murderous insanity. Even after all this time, their memory is still in our minds and hearts. Along the Belgian soldiers and civilians, we mourn all the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. The denial, revisionism, and minimization of crimes against humanity committed in Rwanda have to be fought. I would like to announce that by the end of this month, the Belgian Parliament will vote on our bill to punish the denial of the Genocide against the Tutsi” PM Michel said.
Shortly after the beginning of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, on 7 April, Rwanda’s Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and the ten Belgian peacekeepers protecting her were brutally murdered by Rwandan Government soldiers.
View photos of the Commemoration Ceremony of 10 Belgian peacekeepers here