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Charles and Camilla displayed skulls of genocide victims in Rwanda at the mass grave

The heir to the throne said: ‘This must never happen again’ (Image: Getty Images/PA)

The Prince of Wales faced a grim legacy of the Rwandan genocide as he urged the world never to repeat the horrors of the atrocities.

Charles stared at rows of skulls of victims of the 1994 atrocity during a visit to a mass grave today.

He and his wife Camilla dedicated the day to attending events to recognize the trauma of survivors and to hear the stories of those who lost their lives.

The heir to the throne said “this must never happen again, we will continue to remember it” as he visited Nyamata Church’s Genocide Memorial.

In just two days, more than 10,000 people were murdered in the church building during the Tutsi genocide.

Earlier, Charles and Camilla toured the Kigali Genocide Memorial and showed them the personal testimonies of families who donated pictures of smiling children and listed touching personal details about their loved ones.

The couple carefully read the comments about the murdered teenagers and Charles responded by saying, “Terrible, happens all too often”. Camilla lamented “what people can do to people”.

NYAMATA, RWANDA - JUNE 22: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales looks sad as he is shown skulls of victims during a visit to the Nyamata Church Genocide Memorial where between 14 February 22, 2022 in Nyamata, Rwanda. Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, has attended five of the 24 meetings of Commonwealth Heads of Government since 1971: Edinburgh 1997, Uganda 2007, Sri Lanka (representing the Queen) 2013, Malta 2015 and the United Kingdom 2018. During the British CHOGM, it was officially announced that the Prince would succeed the Queen as Head of the Commonwealth. The heads of state and government of the Commonwealth countries meet every two years for the meeting, which is hosted alternately by a different member country. (Photo by Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images)

The Prince of Wales looks emotional as he is shown the victims’ skulls (Image: Getty Images)

Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is seen during a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial, Kigali, Rwanda June 22, 2022 during a visit. - Britain's Prince Charles will attend the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda from 20 June to 25 June 2022. (PHOTO BY SIMON WOHLFAHRT/POOL/AFP) (PHOTO BY SIMON WOHLFAHRT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Prince Charles and Camilla were shown testimonies from families who lost loved ones in the Rwandan genocide (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

NYAMATA, RWANDA - JUNE 22: The clothes and their belongings of the victims can be seen during a visit to the Nyamata Church Genocide Memorial where between April 14-16, 1994 about 5,000 Tutsis gathered at the Nyamata Church on April 22 .Rwanda. Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, has attended five of the 24 meetings of Commonwealth Heads of Government since 1971: Edinburgh 1997, Uganda 2007, Sri Lanka (representing the Queen) 2013, Malta 2015 and the United Kingdom 2018. During the British CHOGM, it was officially announced that the Prince would succeed the Queen as Head of the Commonwealth. The heads of state and government of the Commonwealth countries meet every two years for the meeting, which is hosted alternately by a different member country. (Photo by Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images)

Victims’ clothing and belongings are displayed at the Genocide Memorial at Nyamata Church, where 10,000 people were killed in two days (Image: Getty Images)

The Duchess became friends with a genocide survivor during her visit when she was hugged by Uzamukunda Walida, who was gang raped but is now open about her experience.

In 1994, hundreds of thousands of members of the Tutsi community in Rwanda were slaughtered by ethnic Hutu extremists.

The Nyamata Church Genocide Memorial, south of the Rwandan capital of Kigali, contains the remains of more than 45,000 people killed on the church grounds and in the wider area between April 7 and May 14, 1994.

A total of 800,000 people, including three-quarters of the country’s Tutsi minority, died in Rwanda’s 100-day slaughter this year.

Charles heard the militiamen killing Tutsi men outside the church who were trying to protect their families before turning on the women and children hiding inside.

“They threw in hand grenades and then shot and chopped up a lot of them,” said Rachel Murekatete, the director of the memorial, who showed Charles around and pointed out hundreds of holes in the church’s wooden roof caused by shrapnel from the blasts.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock (12995578aa) Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial. Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial, Rwanda – 22 June 2022 Their Royal Highnesses are given a guided tour of the memorial's ground floor exhibits, including personal belongings and photographs of victims of the genocide. Their Royal Highnesses will then go upstairs to see the'Children's Room' which features details and photos (taken before the genocide) of children killed. Their Royal Highnesses are invited to sign the visitor's book before descending the steps to the mass graves next to the name wall. Members of the Republican Guard perform the Last Post and lay a wreath on the mass graves in the name of Their Royal Highnesses. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall stop at the Wall of Names for a moment of reflection. En route to the front of the amphitheater, Her Royal Highness will be greeted by Mrs. Mary Balikungeri, Founder and Director of the Rwanda Women's Network, who will introduce the residents of the Village of Hope.

Camilla lamented the horrible things “people can do to people” (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, pose for a photo with genocide survivors as they visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Kigali, Rwanda, June 22, 2022. Arthur Edwards/Pool via REUTERS

Charles and Camille pose for a photo with genocide survivors (Image: Reuters)

Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales writes a note in the guest book as Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall looks on during a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial, Kigali, Rwanda June 22, 2022. - Britain's Prince Charles will attend the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held in Kigali, Rwanda from 20 June to 25 June 2022. (Photo by Simon WOHLFAHRT / AFP) (Photo by SIMON WOHLFAHRT/AFP via Getty Images)

The Prince of Wales writes in the guest book during today’s emotional visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

Down in a basement, the prince was shown display cases containing the skulls and bones of victims who had been cremated after being shot or hacked to death with machetes.

At the memorial in the capital, Charles and his wife Camilla had laid a wreath in memory of the victims, and outside the church, an hour’s drive from Kigali, he left another floral tribute and a handwritten message in the local language, Kinyarwanda.

He said: “We will always remember the innocent souls killed in the Tutsi genocide in April 1994. Be strong Rwanda. Karl.’

Afterwards, Ms. Murekatete said the prince was moved by what he saw.

She added, “He said, ‘This must never happen again, we will continue to remember.’

KIGALI, RWANDA - JUNE 22: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall lay a wreath during a visit to the Kigali Memorial to the victims of the Rwandan Genocide on June 22, 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda 1994 down. Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, has attended five of the 24 meetings of Commonwealth Heads of Government since 1971: Edinburgh 1997, Uganda 2007, Sri Lanka (representing the Queen) 2013, Malta 2015 and the United Kingdom 2018. During the British CHOGM, it was officially announced that the Prince would succeed the Queen as Head of the Commonwealth. The heads of state and government of the Commonwealth countries meet every two years for the meeting, which is hosted alternately by a different member country. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The Rwanda genocide killed 800,000 people in 100 days of slaughter (Image: Getty Images)

Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall hugs genocide survivor Uzamukunda Walida in Kigali, Rwanda June 22, 2022. Arthur Edwards/Pool via REUTERS

Camilla hugs genocide survivor Uzamukunda Walida (Image: Reuters)

Charles, who met Rwandan President Paul Kagame with his wife during the day, later hailed a reconciliation village as a “wonderful example for the rest of the world” after hearing how survivors and perpetrators of the 1994 genocide live side by side.

He toured the village of Mbyo, built in 2005, where 384 Tutsi and Hutus successfully live and work together, and now the project has established eight more across the country to promote unity and help those who witnessed the atrocities move on .

After listening to the stories of a Hutu perpetrator and a Tutsi whose entire family was killed, he said he was “full of admiration” that they had managed to overcome the past, adding: “It has to be so it must have been difficult to be able to forgive these quite terrible horrors.

“It was enormously encouraging to hear that you now view the situation solely as Rwandans and not as Tutsi and Hutu and I think it sets a wonderful example for the rest of the world.”

Among those who welcomed him to the village was Eric Murangwa, a former footballer who narrowly escaped death during the Genocide, who encouraged Charles to visit the Memorial and Reconciliation Village when they met in Scotland in April.

Charles, representing the Queen, landed in Rwanda with Camilla yesterday for the Commonwealth Heads of Government (Chogm) meeting.

It is the first since 2018 to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Boris Johnson may have an awkward meeting with Charles, who reportedly said earlier this month Britain’s program of sending asylum seekers to the East African country was “appalling”.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/22/charles-and-camilla-shown-skulls-of-rwandan-genocide-victims-at-mass-grave-16876000/ Charles and Camilla displayed skulls of genocide victims in Rwanda at the mass grave

Justin Scacco

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