KIGALI, Rwanda – Rwanda is commemorating the 20th anniversary of its devastating genocide in which machete and gunfire attacks killed more than 1 million people.
President Paul Kagame and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon together lit a flame at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre on Monday in memory of those killed.
Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, attended and said genocide is a "devastating reminder that nightmares seemingly beyond imagination can in fact take place."
Ceremonies will continue at Kigali's main sports stadium, where thousands will participate in an evening candlelight ceremony.
Rwanda's 1994 genocide was carried out by extremist Hutus against Tutsis and some moderate Hutus. Kagame has won praise ending that violence and making advances in economic development and health care, although he is criticized for authoritarian control.