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UNESCO adds Rwandan genocide memorial sites to World Heritage list



United Nations Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, has added four Rwandan genocide memorial monuments to its World Heritage list, the agency said on Wednesday.

According to UNESCO in a post on X (formerly Twitter), the four sites located at Nyamata, Murambi, Gisozi and Bisesero, which commemorate the mass killings that took place in the 1994 genocide where more than more than 800,000 minority Tutsis were murdered by the majority Hutus, have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

“The four sites commemorate the genocide that targeted the Tutsi minority in large part but also moderate Hutus who were shot, beaten or hacked to death by Hutu extremists between April and July 1994,” the post noted.

Rwandan government spokeswoman, Yolande Makolo, who commended the Heritage listing, also posted on X saying it was a historic decision that was welcomed by the country.

“This historic decision will help safeguard memory, counter denial and strengthen genocide prevention efforts globally. #NeverAgain,” she wrote.

Local media reports claim three of the sites were actual scenes of the massacres that sent shock waves across the world.

“At Nyamata, more than 45,000 people who had sought shelter in the church were slaughtered in one day,” a report by a media platform read.

“Its chapel now houses the clothing and rosaries worn by the victims along with the weapons used by the perpetrators of the killings.

“Mass graves are situated behind the church, with a vault that houses the skulls of victims and other human remains.

“At Murambi, tens of thousands of people who were encouraged to take refuge in the technical school on the pretext of ensuring their safety were executed in one of the genocide’s bloodiest episodes.

“At Bisesero, a resistance memorial pays tribute to Tutsis who fought back with spears and stones as Hutu extremists murdered hundreds of people in the surrounding hills.

“Skulls, bone fragments, torn clothing and images of piled up corpses confront visitors to the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Gisozi, the final resting place of around 250,000 victims.

“In addition to human remains, the sites also feature material evidence of the 100-day killing spree by Hutu extremist forces – spears, machetes, clubs and bladed weapons.

“The genocide was unleashed shortly after the ethnic Hutu president was killed when his plane was shot down in an attack blamed by the government on Tutsi rebels.

“The killing ended only when the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) took over in July 1994, having having defeated the Hutu extremists”, the report added.


Ghanaian actor Don Little arrested for knocking down motorcyclist



Dimunitive Ghanaian actor, Stephen Atangah, popularly known as Don Little, was reportedly arrested by the police in Accra on Friday after he allegedly knocked down a motorcyclist.

Media reports in the West African country said the actor knocked down the rider with his car while driving in the Kasoa Area A, with videos showing him protesting against his incarceration while in police custody.

According to a report by an online platform, the actor was transporting a friend to the hospital when the incident happened.

“According to Don Little his friend called him that one of their friends wanted to take his life so he should intervene,” the platform said.

“On the way to the hospital, he met some motor riders so he blew the horn for them to give him way but they refused.

“In a bid to manoeuvre, he knocked down one of the motor riders with his mirror.

“Unfortunately, there was an officer at the scene. The officer claimed that Don Little slapped him twice but the actor denied the claims. He was taken to the Kasoa police station”, it added.

The video also showed Don Little behind bars at the police station and interacting with some of the officers.

“He was lamenting why he had been arrested and the person he was involved in an accident had been left to go home,” the online platform narrated further.

“Some of the police officers were also heard wondering why a person with the stature of Don Little would be allowed to drive in Ghana.”

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Switzerland returns stolen 2,000-year-old marble head to Libya



In what has been described as a significant move, Switzerland federal authorities have returned the marble head of a young woman from the Hellenistic period believed to be around 2,000 years old to Libya, 10 years after it was discovered in a warehouse in Geneva.

The Swiss Federal Office of Culture said in a statement on Wednesday that it had handed over the marble sculpture to the Libyan Embassy in Bern as part of restitutional framework of the law on the international transfer of cultural property.

The sculpture, which is 19 centimetres high, according to the North African Federal Office of Culture, dates from between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD.

Historians say the object probably came from the archaeological site of the ancient city of Cyrene in present day Libya.

“It is an archaeological vestige of great value and an exceptional testimony to Hellenistic expansion in North Africa,” the office of culture said in a statement.

Local media reports that the cultural artefact was found during a customs inspection in a customs warehouse in Geneva in 2013, and was confiscated during criminal proceedings in 2016 on suspicion that it had come from a looted excavation.

“The marble head is entirely covered with a reddish patina which provides information on its origin, according to which the Cyrenaica region is one of the rare regions in the Mediterranean basin where we find terra rossa and marble of such quality,” a media report said.

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