Prime minister Justin Trudeau paying tribute to the victims of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide in Kigali, Rwanda where he’s trying to build consensus with Federal countries to avert a new humanitarian crisis.
Trudeau is the first Canadian Prime Minister to visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial, which serves as the final resting place of more than 250,000 victims.
Trudeau laid a wreath at one of the graves and passed himself as members of the Rwandan army stood guard and played a melancholy tune on the chimney.
Over 800,000 people were killed over 100 days, including Tutsis, moderate Hutus and others in the conflict.
Trudeau is in Rwanda for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, where he hopes to rally support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression and provide support to fight back. geopolitical consequences of the conflict.
The Commonwealth is made up of 54 independent countries with historical ties to the British Crown, which together represent approximately 2.5 billion people.
Countries range from some of the richest economies in the world to some of the poorest.
Some of the poorer nations of the Commonwealth have felt the pain of hunger becoming a pressing problem worldwide as access to grain from Ukraine and Russia is limited by war.
Ukraine, food crisis expected to dominate Trudeau’s trio of international summits
Trudeau is expected to meet the summit’s host, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, later this evening before attending a state dinner with Foreign Minister Melanie Joly.
This will be an opportunity to try to win support for an unlikely Commonwealth consensus on the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
Rwanda was one of 10 Commonwealth countries that abstained in a United Nations vote to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine in March.
High Commissioner for Canada to the UK Ralph Goodale said the Canadian delegation hopes to make an impact in important conversations about the conflict, as well as other key issues such as food security and climate change. .
Goodale, who serves on the Commonwealth’s board of governors, said that Canada has a larger platform to stand on at the summit because other international powers such as the United States, Russia and China are not there. there.
“We’re going to make important contributions to some very important international discussions,” Goodale told reporters in Kigali on Wednesday.
“There are countries in the Commonwealth that are directly affected by the risk of starvation. And that’s caused by many factors, including climate change, but especially now in the aftermath of the war in Ukraine and Russian aggression,” Goodale said.
“It’s extremely important for Canada to have an opportunity in a forum like this where you really see the impact of the war in Ukraine, because Canada’s voice is there.”
This will be the first time the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth has met face-to-face since 2018. The 2020 Summit, like most events, has been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic- 19.
Trudeau arrived in Kigali on Wednesday but the official welcome ceremony begins on Friday. The leaders are expected to sit down for a series of caucuses on Friday and Saturday.
Although many world leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, are expected to attend the summit discussions, other leaders have opted to stay home.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese were among those absent.
© 2022 Canadian Press
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