Rwanda suspends more commemoration events over COVID-19

Friday, April 3rd, 2020 00:06 |
File photo shows students at the Murambi Genocide Memorial in Nyamagabe district, southern Rwanda. (Xinhua/Lyu Tianran)


Rwandans in the countryside will not gather for ceremonies marking the 26th anniversary of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi on April 7, a government body said on Friday, the latest in a series of moves to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

Instead, on that day people will follow through different media platforms the launch of mourning week slated to take place at Kigali Genocide Memorial site, said Jean-Damascene Bizimana, executive secretary the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide, in a statement.

Also cancelled is a remembrance ceremony for Rwandan politicians killed in the genocide, which had been scheduled for April 13, at Rebero memorial site in Kicukiro district, to mark the end of the mourning week, he said.

The health ministry said on Thursday the total of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Rwanda stood at 84.

Last week, the commission had said the two ceremonies, now cancelled, would take place with fewer people.

The cancellation was in line with a COVID-19 lockdown extended by the cabinet until April 19 to further contain the spread of the virus, the statement said.

Other commemoration events that have been suspended include the Walk to Remember, which normally takes place in the afternoon on April 7, and a night vigil, which normally follows the Walk to Remember.

On April 7, Rwanda will only hold a brief commemoration event at Kigali Memorial site with bowing in silence to pay respects to more than 1 million people killed in the genocide, laying of wreaths at the graves, and lighting of a flame. Only a limited number of people are expected to attend the ceremony. (Xinhua)

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