Monday, 19 March 2012

Rwanda : Donald Payne laid to rest

Donald Payne
The body of US Congressman, Donald M. Payne Sr. was laid to rest in Newark march 14. Mourners gathered at the Metropolitan Baptist Church, to pay their respects to the longtime Republican congressman who died on March 6, after serving more than two decades in Washington.
In Rwanda, Payne is a hero and is remembered for his significant role in campaigning against the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda, through his advocacy actions.
The government of Rwanda recognized Payne’s efforts with a precious hero’s medal -“Umurinzi” (literally meaning ‘the Keeper/The Guard’). Payne was decorated by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, in 2010.
The Umurinzi medal is Rwanda’s Campaign against Genocide Medal.  “Umurinzi” is also a name of a tree that is known in Rwandan folk tales for its protective powers.
Like many mourners worldwide, the government has mourned the death of the New Jersey’s first and only black congressman, who headed one of Newark’s most powerful political dynasties.
“Payne was a true champion of human rights. He took the time to understand what was happening around the world, particularly in Africa, and advocated on these issues with passion and conviction” Kigali Government Spokesperson, Louise Mushikiwabo said.


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