Passing the flame across the stadium, Rwandans remembered the lives of almost one million people who were brutally killed in the 1994 genocide during an emotional ceremony in Kigali.
France was notably absent from the event following renewed accusations they participated in the bloodletting from President Paul Kagame. During the ceremony he took the opportunity to once again call into question the actions of international actors.
“The people who planned and carried out the genocide were Rwandans but the history and root causes go beyond this beautiful country. This is why Rwandans continue to seek the most complete explanation possible for what happened.”
A re-enactment depicting the slaughter was simply too much to bear. Quiet reflection turned to cries echoing across the stadium. Some of those overcome with grief were escorted out.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the organisation should have done more to stop the genocide adding that troops were pulled out when they were needed most.
He lit a remembrance flame which will burn for 100 days, it represents the length of time it took the Hutu militia to kill at least 800,000 mainly ethnic Tutsis and rape nearly half a million women.