Michel: “Belgium shares some responsibility for 1994 genocide”

The Prime Minister in Belgium’s caretaker federal government Charles Michel (Francophone liberal) has attended the commemoration ceremony for the 25th anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide. Mr Michel was the only European head of government in attendance. 

The only other prominent European politician at the ceremony was the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.   

In his speech Mr Michel recongised that Belgium shared “some of the responsibility” for the 1994 genocide. Mr Michel was repeating an earlier apology made in 2000 by then Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt.   

Foreign Minister pays homage to victims

The Foreign Minister in Belgium’s caretaker federal government Didier Reynders (Francophone liberal) has paid homage to the victims of the genocide in Rwanda that started 25 years ago today. Speaking in a video message published on the social media platform Twitter Mr Reynders said “My thoughts are with the victims and with those that tried to stop the brutality. My thoughts go out to the ten paratroopers that died for peace and for all the Belgians that died”.  

According to UN figures 800,000 people died in ethnic violence between Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda in just three months in 1994. The Rwandan put the number of those killed at more than a million.

On 7 April 1994 10 Belgian paratroopers that were protecting the Rwandan Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana were murdered.