Rwanda commemorates 20 years since genocide

View photos
Rwandan children listen and pray during a Sunday morning service at the Saint-Famille Catholic church, the scene of many killings during the 1994 genocide, in the capital Kigali, Rwanda Sunday, April 6, 2014. Rwanda will commemorate on Monday the 20-year anniversary of the genocide when ethnic Hutu extremists killed neighbors, friends and family during a three-month rampage of violence aimed at ethnic Tutsis and some moderate Hutus, leaving a death toll that Rwanda puts at 1,000,050. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Rwanda is commemorating the 20th anniversary of its devastating genocide in which machete and gunfire attacks killed more than 1 million people.

President Paul Kagame and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon together lit a flame at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre on Monday in memory of those killed.

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, attended and said genocide is a "devastating reminder that nightmares seemingly beyond imagination can in fact take place."

Ceremonies will continue at Kigali's main sports stadium, where thousands will participate in an evening candlelight ceremony.

Rwanda's 1994 genocide was carried out by extremist Hutus against Tutsis and some moderate Hutus. Kagame has won praise ending that violence and making advances in economic development and health care, although he is criticized for authoritarian control.