The New Times Kigali Athan Tashobya
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

King Mohammed VI of Morocco, yesterday, visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Gisozi where he paid tribute to the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

In a message he wrote in the visitor’s book, King Mohammed VI said that the Genocide was a human tragedy that will continue to challenge the conscience of mankind.

« Rwanda today is wholeheartedly embracing life; it has confidence in the present and it looks to a promising future, with hope and optimism; a future in which mutual affection, coexistence, concord, security and stability will prevail, » he wrote in Arabic.

The King and his high-powered delegation arrived in Rwanda on Tuesday for a three-day state visit as part of a three-nation tour of eastern Africa, which will also see him visit Tanzania and Ethiopia.

At Gisozi, the King was accompanied to by Rwandan ministers Julienne Uwacu and Dr Vincent Biruta of Sports and Culture, and Natural Resources, respectively.

Also present was the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the fight against the Genocide, Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana.

During the visit, King Mohammed VI laid a wreath on the mass graves that contain the remains of more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide.

He also observed a moment of silence in honour of the victims.

Honore Gatera, the manager of the memorial, said the monarch’s visit will contribute « immensely » to educating the world about the Genocide against the Tutsi, according to a statement released by the memorial after the king’s visit.

« We thank His Majesty for the time he took to pay respect to our loved ones who were killed in the Genocide and to learn about Rwanda’s renewal over the last 22 years, » the statement further quotes Gatera as saying.

More than a million people perished in the Genocide.

During King Muhammed’s visit, Rwanda and Morocco signed a raft of agreements to promote both bilateral cooperation and investments.

The visit was a reciprocation of President Paul Kagame’s visit to Morocco in June.

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