Rwandans remember last queen killed in genocide

APA - Kigali (Rwanda)

Several hundred people from all parts of Rwanda on Saturday joined events at Mwima, a historical hill located in the south of the country to remember Rosalie Gicanda, the last queen killed in the genocide against the Tutsis 25 years ago.

Rwandans currently commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1994 genocide that left over 1 million people dead, mainly ethnic Tutsis, paid tribute to her as a towering figure in the country's recent history.

Queen Rosalie Gicanda was the wife of Rwandan King Mutara III Rudahigwa.

After her husband died in mysterious circumstances in 1959, the Rwandan monarchy lasted until 1961, when the queen relocated to a private house in the southern town of Butare.

According to testimonies,  she was killed by a group of genocidaire  militias backed by the deafeated Rwandan ex-armed forces responsible for the genocide against the Tutsis on 20 April 1994.

Even after the abolition of the monarchy in 1961, Queen Gicanda remained a revered and loved figure in Rwandan society.

On April 20, at around 11am, a detachment of soldiers commanded by 2nd Lt. Pierre Bizimana invaded her home where she and six other people were abducted. 

Her bed-ridden mother was left behind.

Gicanda and the others were taken behind the Ethnographic Museum where they were killed.

She was among the first individuals to be killed in Butare and her murder signalled the beginning of the mass slaughter in the area.


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