Home NewsInternational Polish President Pays Tribute To Victims of the Genocide Against Tutsi

Polish President Pays Tribute To Victims of the Genocide Against Tutsi

by Daniel Sabiiti
6:18 pm

President Andrzej Duda (kneeling) and First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda laying a wreath at the site

Polish President Andrzej Duda and First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda today paid tribute to victims of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi.

Duda arrived in Kigali yesterday on a two-day state visit that aimed at strengthening bilateral ties between Rwanda and Poland.

With the First Lady standing by his side, President Duda visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial Site in Gisozi where knelt down while laying a wreath on the grave yards of over 250,000 victims laid to rest at site.

In the guest book President Duda said wrote: “On Behalf of the Republic of Poland and the Polish Nation we (Duda and First Lady) are joining in commemoration of more than one million innocent victims of the genocide against Tutsi.”

Duda stated that the visit to the Kigali Memorial site is a profound experience.

“It is a lesson on the catastrophic consequences of divisions fueled by outsiders and a sinister and xenophobic ideology that turns people against people, neighbors against neighbors and family members against each other,” Duda wrote in part.

The Polish President further wrote that what happened in Rwanda should serve as a warning that hatred, if allowed to grow, can destroy a society. He commended Rwanda for taking a lead in changing its past.

“Finally, it is a masterclass on justice and forgiveness that can heal a community and let it rise again, as you, Rwandans have so remarkably done,” Duda said.

Dieudonne Nagiriwubuntu (right) giving a guided tour of the memorial site to the Polish President and delegation

Dieudonne Nagiriwubuntu, the Manager at Kigali Genocide Memorial told KTPress that the visiting Head of State and spouse left the memorial very touched by Rwanda’s history.

“It was a great visit, both HE President and First lady paid respect to the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi and toured the Exhibitions. He is among the few high profile guests who have knelt but we have had some others (few) in the past,” Nagiriwubuntu said.

President Andrzej Duda and First Lady accompanied by Rwandan ministers and a Polish delegation

Meanwhile, Poland also suffered the Genocide of Jews-The Holocaust in 1939. Three million Polish Jews were murdered, primarily at the Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, and Auschwitz II–Birkenau extermination camps, representing half of all Jews murdered during the Europe-wide Holocaust.

At a press briefing with President Paul Kagame, Duda said that the history of Poland and Rwanda is similar and also full of dark episodes. He however said that both countries have managed to restore peace and prosperity.

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