FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter has today written to Vincent Degaule Nzamwita, the President of the Rwandan Football Association (FRF), to express his deepest sympathies on the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, which is being commemorated in ceremonies held in the country’s capital of Kigali.
The Rwandan genocide, which was categorised as such by the UN in accordance with the criteria of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide adopted on 9 December 1948, began 20 years ago today, 7 April. The conflict that gave rise to it pitted two ethnic groups, the Hutus and the Tutsis, against each other. According to a UN estimate, around 800,000 Rwandans – the majority Tutsis – were killed during the 100-day genocide.
“On behalf of the international football community and in my own name, I would like to express our most profound sympathy to the people of Rwanda and wish them a calm and happy future,” wrote Blatter in his letter. “I sincerely hope that their youthful determination and courage will bring them good fortune and allow them to face the challenges of the future.”
Blatter also stated that FIFA will be represented at the ceremonies in Kigali by its Vice-President Issa Hayatou, who is also the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
“My thoughts will be with all of you,” added the FIFA President, who told Mr Nzamwita that he held him in the “warmest regard”.