Monday marked 20 years since the start of the Rwandan genocide, and Winnipeggers gathered across the city for commemoration events.

On April 6, 1994 a plane carrying the Hutu president of Rwanda, Juvenal Habyarimana, was shot down.

Regine Uwibereyeho King

Regine Uwibereyeho King, a Rwandan genocide survivor and professor at the University of Manitoba, said Rwanda has come a long way in the past 20 years. (CBC)

Habyarimana’s death sparked a 100-day massacre of more than 800,000 people, mostly Tutsi civilians and some moderate Hutu.

University of Manitoba social work professor Regine Uwibereyeho King survived the genocide and later moved to Canada in 2000.

King spoke at the Millennium Library Monday afternoon to share her story of survival and discuss her ongoing work in genocide prevention.

She said the country has come a long way in 20 years.

“Rwanda has gone so far. Actually, Rwanda is more peaceful than Winnipeg,” said King.

“I can be walking around at night [in Rwanda, and], I don’t think I can feel the same way in [Winnipeg] or in some other cities in Canada.”

The University of Manitoba planned testimony, panel discussions and a vigil to mark the day.