(GIN) – A somber national memorial marked the 16th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide when close to a million people died in civil strife that pitted a Hutu-dominated government against majority Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
Triggered by the assassination of President Juvenal Habyarimana on April 6, at least 800,000 people were killed, or according to some estimates, as much as 20 percent of the total population.
The memorial witnessed an outpouring of anger by Rwandan President Paul Kagame who scolded local politicians and foreign critics for interference in the nation's affairs.
Foreign governments, he charged, were pressing their political agendas on Rwanda. He also recalled the failures of the outside world at the country's time of great need, and said they lacked credibility to interfere now.
The country is at a crossroads, with local genocide courts scheduled to end, the country ascending to the British Commonwealth, and pressure from ethnic Hutus seeking better treatment by a largely-Tutsi dominated government. Meanwhile, according to a new study, over 28 per cent of those who survived are still battling with trauma. Close to 60 percent of those affected are young women who also take care of households.