KIGALI, Rwanda

President of the European Council Charles Michel Monday visited the Kigali genocide memorial site to pay tribute to the victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi ethnic group.

The memorial in the Rwandan capital Kigali is a resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the genocide in which about 1 million people, mostly Tutsi and moderate Hutus, were killed in a period of 100 days in 1994.

“Never stop remembering, every day, the worst humanity has done,” Michel, who was accompanied by Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, a member of the European Parliament, tweeted after laying a wreath at the memorial site. “And work, every day, to extract the best, everywhere and for all.”

Michel arrived in Rwanda over the weekend, together with Louise Mushikiwabo, the Secretary-General of Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, and Zacharopoulou.

Their visit is a part of efforts to support the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination program with vaccines obtained through the COVAX coalition and to advocate for international collaboration for equitable access to vaccines.

The EU is one of the main contributors to the international solidarity initiative.

On Sunday, the trio witnessed the launch of COVID-19 inoculation at Mayange Health Centre, east of the capital Kigali.

Nobody will be safe until everybody is vaccinated, Michel tweeted.

Rwanda received the first shipment of 240,000 doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines and 102,960 doses of the Pfizer vaccines from COVAX last week.

While in Rwanda, Michel and Mushikiwabo also met Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Michel said their discussion focused on a broad range of bilateral, regional, and global topics with a focus on concrete action to fight the pandemic and prepare for the post-COVID-19 recovery.

“Had a productive meeting with @CharlesMichel. Appreciate @eucopresident commitment to strengthening Africa-Europe ties, including with the private sector. We look forward to collaborating on equitable access to vaccines & improved management of current & future pandemics,” Kagame tweeted.

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