The Chinese embassy in Rwanda, Chinese community and representatives of the Rwanda government on Saturday paid tribute to 10 fallen Chinese aid workers.
Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda Rao Hongwei, Director of Asia and Australasia unit at the Rwandan foreign ministry Theophile Rurangwa and Mayor of Rulindo District Emmanuel Kayiranga attended the event at a Chinese martyrs’ cemetery in Rulindo district, Northern Rwanda.
Rao and Theophile delivered speeches after participants observed a moment of silence.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Rwanda, many Chinese experts have come to Rwanda, supporting Rwanda’s social and economic development, said the Chinese envoy, adding that the 10 Chinese citizens buried in the cemetery become the “guardian angels of the land they loved so much.”
The cemetery is a monument of faith, courage and indomitable spirit of the Chinese foreign aid people in Rwanda, a symbol of the profound friendship between the Chinese and Rwandan peoples, a reflection of Chinese support and commitment to Rwandan local community, said Rao.
“They left their country and families and came here to partner with Rwanda so that they can contribute to our development,” said Rurangwa, adding that the Chinese unfortunately passed away doing the activities that were aimed at “helping Rwanda and Rwandans.”
“On behalf of the government, we are honored to get together with Chinese community to remember these people and we recognize the work of the Chinese government in our country,” said the director.
People need to understand the level of sacrifice of these comrades and that we should learn never to underestimate personal efforts of people in any country’s development, he said.
The ambassador and the director jointly laid a wreath at the monument of the 10 Chinese who died in Rwanda. All participants presented flowers to the tombs of the deceased and watched the photo gallery which reviews cooperation between China and Rwanda.
Rulindo Chinese Martyrs’ Cemetery was first built in 1982 by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) for a deceased employee. In 1997, another employee of CRBC, Chen Jian, perished in the line of duty. Chen was recognized as a martyr and buried in the cemetery. From 1982 to 1997, a total of 10 Chinese, who passed away while working in aid projects for Rwanda, were buried in the cemetery.
On Sept. 30 of every year, China’s Martyrs’ Memorial Day, Chinese people will pay tribute to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the great cause of peace and development of China and the world.
Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda Rao Hongwei (L) lays a flower at a tombstone of a Chinese aid worker who died when working in aid projects for Rwanda at the Chinese martyrs’ cemetery in Rulindo district, Rwanda, on Sept. 30, 2017. The Chinese embassy in Rwanda, Chinese community and representatives of the Rwanda government on Saturday paid tribute to ten fallen Chinese aid workers here