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Rwandan Leader Faults US Over 'Ambiguity' on 1994 Genocide Victims

© AP Photo / Vadim GhirdaPresident of Rwanda, Paul Kagame
President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 09.04.2024
On Sunday, the East African country began a week of national mourning and 100 days of commemoration to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi — one of the bloodiest events of the 20th century.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame said that he is concerned about the US failure to characterize the 1994 massacre as genocide against the Tutsi minority, media reported.
The president's comments came after US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken did not specify in his message that the Tutsi ethnic group was the target of the genocide. In his message posted on X, Blinken said, "We mourn the many thousands of Tutsis, Hutus, Twas and others whose lives were lost during 100 days of unspeakable violence."

"Rwandans will never understand why any country would remain intentionally vague about who was targeted in the genocide. I don’t understand that. Such ambiguity is, in fact, a form of denial, which is a crime in and of itself, and Rwanda will always challenge it," Kagame said.

The head of state also said that the issue "was among the elements discussed" with former US President Bill Clinton, who led the American delegation in the 30th commemoration ceremony in Rwanda.
The Rwandan leader added that he believed he had reached an understanding with Washington around 2014 for them to avoid any criticism on the genocide anniversary.
"There are 365 days in a year. Give us that day, April 7, and then you can have the rest, 364 days, to blame us every day for everything you do not like about us," Kagame pointed out.
In 1994, the Hutu ethnic group launched a genocide against the smaller Tutsi community and moderate Hutu who refused to participate in the killings. Between April and June 1994, some 800,000 people - overwhelmingly Tutsis, but also Twa and others - were killed.
 - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 07.04.2024
Remembering Rwandan Genocide: A Terrible Tragedy That Could Have Been Prevented
The genocide was sparked shortly after the country's ethnic Hutu President, Juvenal Habyarimana, was murdered. His plane was shot down in an attack the government blamed on Tutsi rebels. The pursuing massacres ceased only after the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front defeated Hutu extremists in July 1994.