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Kigali Genocide Memorial Inspires Visitors in Rwanda

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Lieutenant Commander James Stockman wrote

Most people who know me well will tell you that I’m not an emotional person. There aren’t many things that create a flood of emotion in me, nor do I wear my heart on my sleeve. That all being said, I was recently awe inspired by a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda.

Most of us probably remember the news stories or magazine articles that covered the atrocities in Rwanda in April 1994, where more than 800,000 men, women and children were killed simply because of their ethnicity or their political beliefs. Reading or watching about this genocide can’t compare to actually being at this memorial and reading about the first-hand accounts of survivors, or seeing pictures of countless victims, or looking at blood-stained clothing and weapons that have been preserved to serve as a reminder of this horror. Since this time, the survivors of this genocide have inspired us daily by working to restore trust and rebuild hope in Rwanda.

I am glad that I can say that I am a member of U.S. Africa Command, an organization that is committed to its partnership with Rwanda and that will continue to support efforts to promote peace and security in Rwanda and all of Africa. The work of U.S. AFRICOM is in its activities and programs that we conduct across all of Africa to help our partners increase their capacity. We will continue to work with and support our Rwandan and African partners to ensure that an event as sinister as the Rwandan Genocide of 1994 never happens again.

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