CNLG cancels genocide commemoration events in districts over COVID-19

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Public ceremonies to mark the 26th anniversary of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi will not be held on April 7 in districts as part of measures to contain spread of coronavirus, the National Commission for the fight against Genocide (CNLG) said Friday.

A statement signed by Jean-Damascene Bizimana, the executive secretary of CNLG, said Rwandans will instead follow through different media platforms the national launch of mourning week scheduled to take place at Kigali Genocide Memorial site on that day.

Also cancelled is the official closing ceremony of the mourning week normally combined with honoring of politicians on April 13, at Rebero memorial site, where remains of most of the prominent fallen politicians were buried in Kicukiro district.

Last week, the commission had said the two cancelled commemoration ceremonies will take place but with limited number of people.

But on Friday the commission said the cancellation was in line with COVID-19 lockdown extended by cabinet until April 19 to further contain the spread of the virus.

Other commemoration events which have been suspended this year include the Walk to Remember– which normally featured thousands of marchers in the afternoon on April 7 and a night vigil which followed the Walk to Remember.

On April 7, there will be a brief launch ceremony of the mourning week at Kigali Memorial site, to be attended by a limited number of people, according to CNLG.

 Activities will include bowing in silence to pay honor more than 1 million people killed in the genocide, laying of wreaths at the graves, and lighting of a flame.

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