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Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide

The United Nations (UN) has named April 7 as the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide. This day commemorates the deaths of 800,000 people who were murdered during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, central Africa.

A church building at Nyamata, Rwanda, where thousands of people were murdered. It now serves as a memorial.
A church building at Nyamata, Rwanda, where thousands of people were murdered. It now serves as a memorial.
©iStockphoto.com/grauy

What Do People Do

Many people around the world hold memorial ceremonies that include candle-lighting and a minute of silence to honor the victims of the Rwanda genocide. This UN day is also a time for diplomats and key community figures to talk with communities about the atrocities of genocide and the importance of working towards a peaceful way of life. Student conferences, exhibitions, and other commemorative activities are also held.

Public Life

The Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide is an official UN observance and not a public holiday.

Background

In 1994, in the space of three months, about 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in Rwanda in what came to be known as the Rwanda genocide.  In 1995, the UN called for an outreach program entitled “The Rwanda Genocide and the United Nations” and “to take measures to mobilize civil society for Rwanda genocide victim remembrance and education” to help prevent future acts of genocide. The Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide has been observed each year since 2004, 10 years after the genocide took place.

Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2010WedApr 7Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda GenocideUnited Nations observance
2011ThuApr 7Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda GenocideUnited Nations observance
2012SatApr 7Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda GenocideUnited Nations observance
2013SunApr 7Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda GenocideUnited Nations observance
2014MonApr 7Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda GenocideUnited Nations observance
2015TueApr 7Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda GenocideUnited Nations observance
2016ThuApr 7Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda GenocideUnited Nations observance
2017FriApr 7Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda GenocideUnited Nations observance
2018SatApr 7Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda GenocideUnited Nations observance
2019SunApr 7Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda GenocideUnited Nations observance
2020TueApr 7Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda GenocideUnited Nations observance

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