Rwanda National Heroes' Day

Rwanda National Heroes' Day

February 1
The Republic of Rwanda is a landlocked country in central Africa, bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwandans celebrate Heroes' Day on February 1. National celebrations take place starting early in the morning with the laying of wreaths at the Heroes' Cemetery at Remera, Kigali, by the president, officials of the government, and the families of the country's heroes.
National Heroes' Day commemorates events that occurred after April 6, 1994, when Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and the president of Burundi were killed when their airplane was shot down. After that, the Rwandan military began to systematically kill all Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Local officials and government-sponsored radio stations called on ordinary citizens to kill their Tutsi neighbors. Hundreds of thousands of Tutsi and moderate Hutus were killed. This is now known as the Rwandan genocide. Victims of this genocide are remembered on Heroes' Day.
During the Rwandan genocide, rebels surrounded the Nyange Secondary School and asked the students to identify the Tutsi students. When a group of students refused to do this, the rebels killed them. This heroic act is also remembered on National Heroes' Day. Wreaths are laid at Nyange in memory of students who stood against the rebel forces. The national Heroes' Day celebration at Nyange features songs, dances, and poems praising the virtues and good example of the national heroes. The people are reminded of the great value in service to the country that the national heroes have shown those who are still alive.
CONTACTS:
Republic of Rwanda Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Investment Promotion, Tourism & Cooperatives
www.minicom.gov.rw (c)
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