David Lappartient, President of the International Cycling Union (UCI) has paid tribute to over 250,000 victims laid to rest at Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Gisozi.
Lappartient visited the Memorial yesterday where he was briefed about what happened during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi before touring the memorial exhibition to learn more about the history of the Genocide.
He was accompanied by Dr Mohamed Wagih Azzam, president of the African Cycling Confederation (CAC) and Aimable Bayingana, president of Rwanda Cycling Federation.
The UCI president who is in the country for a three-day visit since Friday night, also visited the Africa Rising Cycling Center (ARCC) in Musanze District yesterday and attended the Tour du Rwanda opening ceremony at Kigali Convention Center in the evening.
After his visit to Kigali Genocide Memorial, Lappartient told Sunday Times that he learned of ‘the worst of humankind’ at the memorial center but was also inspired by the resilience of Rwandan people in the path to rebuilding the country, and fighting the Genocide ideology.
In a separate interview, Rwanda Cycling Federation (Ferwacy) president, Bayingana, said that Lappartient’s visit to Rwanda, and the memorial center in particular, will help him have a better and deeper understanding about the country and the contribution of cycling in Rwanda’s rebirth.
The 2018 Tour du Rwanda – arguably the country’s biggest sporting event – gets underway today in Rwamagana District and will run through August 12.
To celebrate the race’s ten-year anniversary, the local cycling governing body added five new stage routes to this year’s edition, with the overall goal of giving many Rwandans a chance to witness and enjoy the race.