Rwanda voices concern over U.S. ambiguity on genocide victims

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XINHUA – KIGALI | Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Monday expressed deep concern over the failure of the United States to refer to the 1994 massacre as a genocide against the Tutsi people.

Kagame’s criticism came after US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s message about the commemoration of the genocide.

In his message posted on X social platform, Blinken said, “We mourn the many thousands of Tutsis, Hutus, Twas and others whose lives were lost during 100 days of unspeakable violence.”

Many Rwandans criticized Blinken for not specifically acknowledging that the genocide targeted the Tutsis.

Speaking at a news conference in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, Monday, Kagame stressed that the issue was discussed with former US President Bill Clinton, who led a delegation to the 30th anniversary of the genocide held Sunday in Kigali.

The controversy over how to characterize the genocide stems from allegations that the Rwandan Patriotic Army, the rebel group that stopped the genocide, carried out revenge killings during and after the genocide.

Kagame has previously dismissed these allegations.

Kagame said he believed he had reached an understanding with U.S. authorities 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 said.

During his commemoration speech Sunday, Kagame said Rwandans will never understand why countries are remaining intentionally vague about who was targeted in the genocide, calling it a form of denial and a crime in itself. “Rwanda will always challenge it,” he added.

Rwanda on Sunday began a week of national mourning and 100 days of commemoration to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, during which more than 1 million people were killed, according to the Rwandan government

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