Flame arrives in Liverpool
Photo in and report by
THE "Kwibuka Flame",
which is visiting major Cities across the UK, arrived in
Liverpool on Friday, 14 March 2014. This torch is a means of
commemorating all those lives lost 20 years ago when during the
1994 genocide in Rwanda, a million people perished when
neighbour turned on neighbour; extremist Hutus incited others to
kill the Tutsi in their midst and also more moderate Hutus who
dissented. This was an event which traumatised a nation and
horrified the world. The atrocities have been remembered every
anniversary since by Rwandans and their supporters, but this is
the 1st year which has featured the torch. This flame was
originally lit in Kigali, the Rwandan capital in January 2014
and continues its travels until 7 April 2014; when the national
mourning period commences.
Besides being a focus of remembrance for families and friends
who are still struggling with the aftermath; so painful that
many cannot speak of their experiences or burst into tears when
faced with discussion, this flame also serves as a reminder to
them and to others, ourselves in the UK included, as to the
depths of depravity humanity can plummet to when prejudices and
grievances, real or imaginary are allowed to fester and are
likely to be exploited by evilly motivated people. Such
incidences have scarred history and continue today. It behoves
us all to be on our guard, for no nation is immune. Meanwhile,
Rwandans have striven gallantly to build a more positive future
and value the support given from within our communities.
During a simple ceremony in Liverpool Town Hall, on Friday, 14
March 2014, the Lord Mayor, Cllr. Gary Millar and other
representatives received the torch. The Lord Mayor said:-
"This is an opportunity to honour all of those who have suffered
at the hands of extremists and ensure that their memories live
on. It is vitally important that we never forget the 1 million
people who died in just 100 days and the impact that had on
their families and the great nation of Rwanda. We must also
never forget all victims of genocide and other atrocities
elsewhere in the world. I believe it is our collective
responsibility to educate both the young and older to ensure
that such hateful crimes do not take place in the future."
Local MP for West Derby, Stephen Twigg, added:-
"Remembering honours and dignifies the memory those innocent
lives lost in the genocide. We are honoured to be involved in
the 20th anniversary commemorations of this significant date in
history, I hope this serves as a reminder that such injustice
will not be tolerated or forgotten."
Similar sentiments were echoed by others, including the Younger
Lord Mayor, Jake James and Oliver, the Junior Lord Mayor, each
of whom held the torch and agreed that it is important for
younger people to hear the truth of what happened too.
Taking the torch on to its next destination, Leeds, are
Rwandans, Richard Mutsinzi, who now lives in Leeds, but who
visits Liverpool regularly during his work in the Home Office,
and Philomene Mwamaliya, who works in the community in
Liverpool. We wish them well on their journey.
here to see more
photographs from this ceremony.
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B.O.A. 70th Anniversary
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