Humanity, nobility and brilliance are some of the common words being used to describe the last Queen of Rwanda, Rosalie Gicanda who was murdered during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, on April 20. Gicanda, who was married to King Mutara III Rudahigwa since she was around 14 years old, was considered humble by her family and those who had the chance to interact with her. It is said that she remained accessible to the population even after the abolition of the monarchy when Rwanda got its independence. She even inspired some works of art, an example being Cecile Kayirebwa’s song “Inyange muhorakeye” where she sings about the Queen’s beauty and generosity, among other things. Inseko yawe yaziraga imbereka, amata yawe yagiraga gitereka iruhukire mu mahoro Mubyeyi Rosalie Gicanda🕊️ , abakwambuye ubuzima bazabibazwe na Rurema. 💔🕊️😭 pic.twitter.com/uTt2vXYYPn — Rudahigwa 🇷🇼 (@Rudahigwa_2) April 20, 2022 Following the rise of anti-Tutsi extremism in the early 90s, Gicanda’s life was threatened, and it became even worse when each member of the genocidal government’s cabinet would be evaluated on the number of Tutsi killed in one’s particular area of birth during the 1994 Genocide. The resolution had been made during an April 8 meeting convened by Theoneste Bagosora, then a powerful permanent secretary of the ministry of defence and that has been accused of masterminding the shooting of Habyarimana’s plane. Ubuyobozi bwa @RwandaSouth bwifatanyije numuryango wUmwamikazi Rozaliya Gicanda wishwe muri Jenoside yakorewe Abatutsi mu 1994, aho bamwunamiye ku Musezero i Mwima muri nyuma yo kumusabira mu gitambo cyukaristiya cyatuwe na Nyiricyubahiro Filipo Rukamba.#Kwibuka28 pic.twitter.com/p7afHNzsVD — Southern Province | Rwanda (@RwandaSouth) April 20, 2022 In the meeting where the interim government was formed was also where cabinet members were encouraged to scale up the killings in their areas of birth. In a demonstration that he was leading by example, Théodore Sindikubwabo, then interim president immediately travelled to his birthplace of Butare to “launch” the Genocide against Tutsi, on April 19. He made an infamous speech that openly called upon Hutu people to exterminate Tutsi, and that they shouldn’t act like it wasn’t their business. Sindikubwabo also condemned those who were not “working” (killing the Tutsi) and instructed them to “get out of their comfort zones and work.” 2) At around 11am on April 20, 1994 a special meeting about the Final Solution of the Tutsi of Butare had just started when a detachment of soldiers commanded by Lt. Pierre Bizimana, acting under the orders of Capt. Nizeyimana, invaded the home of Queen Rosalie Gicanda. pic.twitter.com/SgZPj21G5d — Noel Kambanda (@NoelKambanda) April 20, 2022 The following day at around 11:00 am, detachment of soldiers commanded by 2nd Lt. Pierre Bizimana invaded the home of Queen Gicanda where they abducted her and six others but leaving behind her bed-ridden mother. They took them behind the Ethnographic Museum where they were shot, and the killers returned to her house to finish off her mother two days later. It is also reported that Queen Gicanda was executed under the orders of Capt. Idelphonse Nizeyimana, the head of intelligence and military operations at an elite military training school, Ecole Superiere des Sous-Officiers. The murder of Gicanda was breaking a taboo; if she could be murdered, no Tutsi could survive in Butare, one Noel Kambanda said on his Twitter. The population of Butare and soon the whole country appreciated her for her dignity, her generosity, her hospitality, her affability, her humour, her friendliness, her open-mindedness, her beauty, her uprightness, her infinite love for her late husband and above all her humility. — ivan nyagatare (@gentlemanwalkin) April 20, 2022 Indeed, her killing marked the beginning of the Genocide in the Butare area. Today, like every April 20, the Queen’s relatives and friends, officials and residents of the Southern province lay wreaths and bow to pay her tribute at the mausoleum of Mwima in Nyanza district, where she lies next to her husband, the King. One of the Queen’s murderers, Capt. Nizeyimana was sentenced to 35 years of prison by the ICTR after being found guilty of genocide crimes.