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‘Emotional’ Charles & Camilla visit mass grave of 250,000 victims slaughtered in Rwandan genocide after migrant row

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PRINCE Charles and Camilla will feel “touched and emotional” after walking among a mass grave of 250,000 victims slaughtered in the Rwandan genocide and seeing the remains of those massacred in a church.

The Prince of Wales, 73, today landed with the Duchess of Cornwall, 74 – becoming the first members of the royal family to visit Rwanda.

AFP

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and the Duchess of Cornwall pause in front of a flower wreath at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, Kigali.[/caption]

PA

The card on the wrath written in Kinyarwanda says: “We will always remember the innocent souls that were killed in the Genocide Against the Tutsi in April 1994. Be strong Rwanda. Charles.”[/caption]

Getty

Approximately 5,000 Tutsis were killed inside Nyamata Church Human between April 14 and April 16, 1994[/caption]

Getty

Victims’ clothes and their belongings can be seen during a visit to the Nyamata Church Genocide Memorial[/caption]

And it comes just days after the prince allegedly branded the government’s decision to deport asylum seekers to the African country “appalling”.

They started a three-day tour by laying a wreath at the Kigali Genocide Memorial where 250,000 of the 800,000 killed in 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 they were massacred by Hutus they will see clothing, personal artifacts and remains of some of those killed.

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More than 45,000 Tutsis are in mass graves by the church.

And they will meet six perpetrators and survivors who now live side by side at the Mbyo Reconciliation Village.

Sources close to the royal couple will describe how they felt at the genocide afterwards but believed they likely be “touched and emotional”.

And the couple will open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) on behalf of the Queen, 96, during a four-day trip.


It comes just days after judges at the European Court of Human Rights stopped the British government from flying asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Charles is said to have privately slammed the policy as “appalling” sparking a migrant row.

Sources close to the future king deny he has attempted to lobby the government.

The Prince of Wales is set to meet face-to-face with Boris Johnson – who is jetting out for Chogm – for the first time since his private remarks.

Sources close to Charles admit the timing of the royal visit for Chogm – which was delayed for two years due to Covid-19 – is “awkward” due to the controversy surrounding the flights.

Camilla will also give a speech combating violence against women and the royal couple will also attend a fashion show.

Boris and Charles are set to meet tomorrow before Chogm is officially opened 24 hours later with all 54 leaders of the Commonwealth being treated to an address by Prince Charles.

The mass slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Tutsi people lasted a period of around 100 days.

The atrocious killings occurred between April 7 and July 15, 1994, during the Rwandan Civil War and saw the minority ethnic groups of the Tutsi, some moderate Hutu and Twa groups slaughtered by armed militias and civilians.

The Rwandan Genocide

Twenty-eight years ago a terrible genocide took place in the heart of Africa — here is what happened back in 1994

The Rwandan genocide was one of the most shocking events to have happened to humanity in the post-Cold war world.

Thousands were hacked to pieces, many by their own neighbours, while rape squads were formed to deliberately spread HIV among women in a horrific civil war.

What happened in the Rwandan Genocide?

The 100 days of slaughter began on April 6, 1994.

Shrill broadcasts in the government media and the infamous Radio des Mille Collines incited the killings, portraying the majority Tutsis as dangerous, bent on dominating the Hutus.

As many as 10,000 people died daily.

UNICEF estimated more than 300,000 children were killed. Most were hacked or beaten to death.

70 per cent of the minority Tutsi was wiped out and over ten per cent of the total Rwanda population.

Why did it happen?

Tensions between the people was created then exacerbated by coloniser Belgium, which turned the traditional Hutu-Tutsi relationship into a class system.

During Belgian rule, Hutu chiefs had all been deposed by the Belgians, who placed the minority Tutsis in charge, ultimately leading to the exploitation of the majority Hutu.

When the plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana and counterpart Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi – both Hutu – was shot down over the Rwandan capital Kigali, mass murder was unleashed.

The plane attack mobilised Hutu government soldiers and allied extremist militia, who orchestrated the genocide to exterminate the Tutsi minority.

The Interahamwe militia (meaning “those who work/ fight together” in Kinyarwanda), led by Robert Kajuga, were the main perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide.

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