PRINCE Charles and Camilla paid an emotional visit to a mass grave and memorial to 250,000 victims of the Rwandan genocide.
The Prince of Wales, 73, landed today with the Duchess of Cornwall, 74, becoming the first member of the royal family to visit Rwanda.
And it comes just days after the prince allegedly branded the government’s decision to deport asylum seekers to the African country as “appalling”.
They began their three-day tour with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, where 250,000 of the 800,000 dead from the 1994 genocide are laid to rest, including children.
Charles and Camilla will then meet Rwanda President Paul Kagama and First Lady Jeannette Kagame.
At Nyamata Genocide Church, where Tutsis hid before being massacred by Hutus, you will see clothing, personal artifacts and remains of some of those killed.
More than 45,000 Tutsi lie in mass graves near the church.
And they will meet six perpetrators and survivors who now live side by side in Mbyo Reconciliation Village.
Sources close to the royal couple will describe how they felt about the genocide afterwards, but believed they were probably “touched and emotional”.
And the couple will open the Commonwealth Heads of Government (Chogm) meeting on behalf of the Queen, 96, during a four-day trip.
It comes just days after judges at the European Court of Human Rights blocked the UK government from flying asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Charles is said to have privately described the policy as “appalling” which sparked a conflict with migrants.
Sources close to the future king deny that he has attempted to influence the government.
The Prince of Wales is set to meet Boris Johnson, who is flying to Chogm, for the first time since his private remarks.
Sources close to Charles admit the timing of the royal visit to Chogm – delayed by two years due to Covid-19 – is “awkward” due to the controversy surrounding the flights.
Camilla will also give a speech against violence against women and the royal couple will also attend a fashion show.
Boris and Charles will meet tomorrow before Chogm officially opens 24 hours later, with all 54 Commonwealth leaders being treated to an address by Prince Charles.
The mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Tutsi lasted about 100 days.
The gruesome killings took place between April 7 and July 15, 1994 during Rwanda’s civil war and saw the Tutsi ethnic minorities, some moderate Hutu and Twa groups being slaughtered by armed militias and civilians.
The Rwandan Genocide
28 years ago a horrific genocide took place in the heart of Africa – here is what happened in 1994
The Rwandan genocide was one of the most shocking events that has happened to humanity in the post-Cold War world.
Thousands were hacked to pieces, many by their own neighbors, while rape squads were formed to deliberately spread HIV among women in a horrific civil war.
What happened in the genocide in Rwanda?
The 100-day slaughter began on April 6, 1994.
Shrill broadcasts in the government media and the notorious Mille Collines radio incited the killings and portrayed as dangerous the majority of Tutsis bent on dominating the Hutus.
Up to 10,000 people died every day.
UNICEF estimates more than 300,000 children were killed. Most were hacked or beaten to death.
70 percent of the Tutsi minority and over 10 percent of the total population of Rwanda were wiped out.
Why did it happen?
Tensions between peoples were then exacerbated by colonizer Belgium, which transformed the traditional Hutu-Tutsi relationship into a class system.
During Belgian rule, all Hutu chiefs had been deposed by the Belgians, who brought the Tutsis minority to power, ultimately leading to the exploitation of the Hutu majority.
When the plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana and his Burundian counterpart Cyprien Ntaryamira – both Hutu – was shot down over the Rwandan capital of Kigali, mass murder was unleashed.
The airstrike mobilized Hutu government soldiers and allied extremist militias who organized the genocide to eradicate the Tutsi minority.
The Interahamwe militia (which in Kinyarwanda means “those who work/fight together”), led by Robert Kajuga, were the main perpetrators of the genocide in Rwanda.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5615101/charles-camilla-rwanda-genocide-migrant/ “Emotional” Charles & Camilla visit mass grave of 250,000 victims slaughtered in Rwanda genocide after dispute with migrants