SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – For a hundred days from April to June of 1994, more than 1 million Tutsis were killed in one of the worst genocides in modern human history. The genocide was aimed at the complete extermination of the Tutsi living in Rwanda. Hutus who opposed the ideology of carrying out the genocide were also killed during this time. Nearly three decades later, hundreds of refugees who survived the genocide are now living and rebuilding their lives in Utah.
Locally, the Rwandan-American Community in the State of Utah held a series of events to remember the victims, educate the public about the atrocity of genocide against the Tutsi, and fight against genocide ideology, discrimination, bigotry, and racism. This comes after a House resolution, sponsored by Rep. Angela Romero, was passed last year in the 2020 legislative session to recognize April 7 as the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
Charles Kabano, a survivor of the 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, joined ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen on the CW30 News at 7 p.m. to share his story. He talked about what life was like in Rwanda before the atrocities, what he remembers when the massacre started, what happened over the first few days and weeks, and what his family did to survive.
Jean Claude Kamali, president of the Rwandan-American Community in the State of Utah, shared why his family left Rwanda shortly before the genocide, what it was like being in neighboring Congo during the atrocities, the dynamic of the Rwanda community members who live in Utah now, the yearly events that his organization hosts in remembrance of the genocide, and what he would like the public to know about the tragedy.
Rep. Angela Romero discussed how she became engaged with the local Rwandan community, the resolution she sponsored in 2020, the importance of the support and recognition of the genocide survivors, and how she would like Utahns to think about the tragedy and the people who were impacted.
To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Kabano, Kamali, Rep. Romero, click on the video at the top of the article.
Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.