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Participants hold a candle light night vigil during a commemoration event, known as "Kwibuka" (Remembering), as Rwanda marks the 30th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide, at the BK arena in Kigali, Rwanda April 7, 2024.

REUTERS/Jean Bizimana

30 years since Rwanda’s genocide, ethnic violence continues to plague Central Africa

Rwandan President Paul Kagame led a memorial ceremony on Sunday to mark the 30th anniversary of the genocide that killed more than a million people. Rwanda’s Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups are no longer in open conflict in the country, but the legacy of the 100 days of slaughter that began on April 7, 1994, carries on in a conflict in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, meet at 10 Downing Street, London.

Stefan Rousseau/REUTERS

UK-Rwanda immigration deal on ice

The UK Court of Appeals in London declared on Thursday that a government plan to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda while their claims are being processed in the UK is unlawful, ruling that Rwanda could not be deemed as a safe third country.

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An elderly woman walks past a poster encouraging seniors to get vaccinated against COVID in Beijing.

REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

What We’re Watching: Beijing vax mandate, DRC-Rwanda tensions

Beijing gets China's first COVID vax mandate

Somewhat late to the party compared to many parts of the world, China introduced on Wednesday its first COVID vaccine mandate in Beijing. Starting next week, residents of the capital will need to show proof of vax to enter most public spaces as authorities scramble to contain a new outbreak of a more infectious omicron subvariant. Oddly enough for an authoritarian state, China shunned mandates early in the pandemic because most people agreed to get vaxxed on their own, which helped keep the virus under control until late 2021. While nearly 90% of the population is fully vaccinated, inoculation rates among the elderly — those most vulnerable to becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID — are lower because many older Chinese adults are wary of getting jabs. What's more, China's vaccines are not as effective as Western mRNA jabs against new variants, so perhaps the goal of Beijing's mandate is to keep the unvaccinated elderly at home without implementing a citywide lockdown like in Shanghai. How will this affect Xi Jinping's zero-COVID policy? If major outbreaks are reported, expect other big Chinese cities to follow Beijing's lead.

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Rwanda: The good, the bad, and the ugly

For many, Paul Rusesabagina became a household name after the release of the 2004 tear-jerker film Hotel Rwanda, which was set during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Rusesabagina, who used his influence as a hotel manager to save the lives of more than 1,000 Rwandans, has again made headlines in recent weeks after he was reportedly duped into boarding a flight to Kigali, Rwanda's capital, where he was promptly arrested on terrorism, arson, kidnapping and murder charges. Rusesabagina's supporters say he is innocent and that the move is retaliation against the former "hero" for his public criticism of President Paul Kagame, who has ruled the country with a strong hand since ending the civil war in the mid 1990s.

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