It was the crash of a plane which killed Rwanda’s president on April 6, 1994 that sparked the genocide. (Jean Marc Bouju/AP Photo/May 23, 1994)

Canadian official to attend Rwandan genocide ceremony

Canada’s Governor General Julie Payette will go to Rwanda from April 4 to 9, 2019 to attend the 25th commemoration of the genocide honouring the more than 800,000 victims. At the time, Canadian General Roméo Dallaire headed a United Nations peacekeeping mission which was unable to stop the slaughter. Upon his return to Canada he despaired and tried to take his life. He later wrote a book about the horrors called Shake Hands With the Devil.

Rows of human skulls and bones formed a memorial to people who died in a church in the village of Nyarubuye, the scene of one of many massacres. (Ben Curtis/The Associated Press)

‘Committed to…prevent atrocities like this’

We remain committed to working with partners to promote international human rights and prevent atrocities like this from ever happening again,”   reads a statement from the office of the prime minister of Canada.

It mentions the development of the Vancouver Principles On Peacekeeping and Preventing the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers which have been endorsed by 79 nations including Rwanda. And it notes the Kigali Principles were established in 2015 to better protect civilians in peacekeeping operations.

The governor general represents Queen Elizabeth II who is Canada’s head of state. The person holding the post performs extensive ceremonial duties.

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6 comments on “Canadian official to attend Rwandan genocide ceremony
  1. Avatar Marc Godfrey says:

    It would have been decent to invite a few of the troops that served there during the Genocide in Rwanda. Sort of recognizing the perilous duties performed by regular common soldiers from Canada.

  2. Avatar Maurice Boire says:

    It is sad that the Government and the public funded institution fails to mention our soldiers who participated in the mission.

    In the middle of the genocides, 500+ Canadian troops from mainly 3 units deployed in support of UNAMIR II. We did our jobs and we succeeded in establishing peace in a country with none.

    Our thanks has been total disregard for our mission, the situation imposed upon us and the conditions in which we served.

    The government ignores us and failed to acknowledge our contributions while by ignoring our request to join any celebrations in Rwanda.


  3. Avatar G Charles MacDonald says:

    Considering what happened inRwanda, some of the men & women should also be afforded the opportunity to attend thos services. There were many who came away from Rwanda damaged by what we experienced.
    I get the official representation, however, again our government is missing the point.

  4. Avatar Hamish Gillies says:

    Having a Canadian Representative present for this most solemn event is an absolute shame.

    It is also an absolute shame that the Government of Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces have redacted the history of our nations involvement in Rwanda. There is no mention of the 400 plus soldiers deployed from Kingston with 1 Canadian Division Signals and Headquarters Regiment who deployed to Rwanda after July 1994 as part of the new UN Security Council mandate of UNAMIR ll, OPERATION LANCE that superceded the previous UNAMIR led by LGen Dallaire.

    With a six month mission that saw Canadian Peacekeepers providing critical communications and support operations in the shadow of the Rwandan Genocide. Canada’s Peacekeepers achieved many successes in Rwanda, yet there is no mention of this in official Veterans Affairs Canada vignettes to overseas missions, or the official public records of the Canadian Armed Forces.

    OPERATION LANCE, UNAMIR ll: July 1994 to January 1995. In honour of Corporal Scott Smith who fell in the service of Canada in Rwanda. We Shall Remeber Them

  5. Avatar Daniel Savoie says:

    How many Rwanda vets are going to attend this ceremony!!!none!!!

  6. Avatar Daniel Chabot says:

    It would probably be a good idea to give us who served in Rwanda at that time the opportunity to fly there in a C117 to attend.