It’s 28 years since the world witnessed one of the most grim events in 1994. The Rwandan genocide claimed over 800 000 lives. In just 100 days, Hutu extremists slaughtered the minority Tutsi community.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame has accused France of backing those who carried out the massacres. A charge denied by Paris.
The month of April will always be a constant reminder of the gory scenes in Rwanda.
Members of the Hutu ethnic majority murdered as many as 800 000 people mostly of the Tutsi minority.
This comes after the aircraft carrying the former President of Rwanda Juvenal Habyarimana was shot down in Kigali leaving no survivors.
After that incident, the genocide started masterminded by Hutu nationalists.
Kagame says they have come a long way.
He says, “Rwandans have been participating and the leadership that was put together since the genocide was over when we took power in 1994. We brought Rwandans together from all backgrounds and implemented the Arusha Peace Process.”
Local officials and the Hutu-led government encouraged people to take up arms and kill their neighbours.
When the Rwandese Patriotic Front gained control it was too late thousands had been massacred and over two million refugees fled Rwanda and created a humanitarian crisis.
Kagame says this should never happen again. “Divides don’t just disappear, you must ensure that you put in place political programmes that build people and realise more in common than what divides them.”
Twenty-eight years later down the line, Rwanda has positioned itself as one of the thriving economies in Africa.
Recently, a Rwandan appeals court upheld a 25-year jail sentence for Paul Rusesabagina who was portrayed in the movie Hotel Rwanda sheltering hundreds of people during the 1994 genocide,
He has since acknowledged having a leadership role in the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change but denied responsibility for the attacks.
VIDEO: France closes probe into plane attack that triggered Rwanda genocide: