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KIGALI (Reuters) – Rwanda began a week of solemn ceremonies on Sunday to commemorate the lives of 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus murdered during the Rwandan genocide, a three-month-killing spree that began 25 years ago.

President Paul Kagame laid a wreath at the Gisozi genocide memorial site, where over a quarter a million of people are buried, before an afternoon of speeches and song. Later, a candelit vigil was held in the packed national soccer stadium.

“There is no way to fully comprehend the loneliness and anger of survivors and yet over and over again we have asked them to make the sacrifices necessary to give our nation new life. Emotions had to be put in a box,” Kagame said, his tall, thin form projected onto television screens around the nation.