Belgian peacekeepers honoured at Camp Kigali

10/04/2019, 01:47
Belgian para-commandos at the memorial site at Camp Kigali
© Defence - Bordignon

A Belgian delegation and Rwandan officials paid tribute to Belgian peacekeepers who were murdered at the onset of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi at a former military camp – Camp Kigali.

The ten Belgian ‘casques bleus’, murdered on April 7, 1994, were part of the second battalion commandos of Flawinne of the Belgian Army.

They came to Rwanda in 1993 as part of Mission des Nations Unies Pour l’Assistance au Rwanda (MINUAR).

They were killed as they attempted to protect former Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana, who was murdered by the Presidential Guard alongside his husband on the same day.

One of the victims, Lt Thierry Lotin, who was 28 at the time was a very engaged soldier and when he was sent to Rwanda for peacekeeping mission, he knew the task was not very easy, according to his elder sister, Carine Lotin.

His wife was pregnant with their first child, who was born one month and half after his death, she says.

Every year, at the beginning of the Genocide commemoration, Lotin and other relatives of the victims travel to Rwanda to pay tribute to their loved ones.

“We have eternal sadness but, just like you Rwandans, we have to move forward. The main message from this is that we have to work together as humans to prevent it from happening again,” she says.