Every April, Rwandans remember the 1994 genocide during a week of national mourning.
Throughout Rwanda's week of national mourning, flags fly at half-mast and weddings and other celebrations are banned in des Mille Collines ('of a thousand hills', another - poetic - name for Rwanda).
President Paul Kagame will address the nation;, conferences and debates will be held nationwide; and the remains of victims will receive a proper reburial. The week of collective remembrance of the slaughter of some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994 comes to an end on 13 April.
"Bankruptcy of humanity"
Rwanda has chosen a symbolic location to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the genocide and highlight "the bankruptcy of humanity" during the 1994 massacres.
The national ceremony will take place in Nyanza, a hill in Kigali where thousands of people were slaughtered on 11 April after the Belgian UN contingent that had been protecting them pulled out.
Belgium had decided to pull its troops out after 10 blue-helmets from the UN force (UNAMIR) were killed by Rwandan military. In the weeks that followed, more than 5,000 people -- men, women and children mainly from Rwanda's Tutsi minority -- were brutally hacked to death by extremist Hutu militias.
The genocide remains a source of ethnic tension 15 years after the massacres, with survivors suffering from intimidation still being intimidated by their former foes and Hutus complaining of marginalisation by Kagame's Tutsi regime.
The history of Rwanda is the subject of much controversy, and this has been used and abused by those in power. Historical rhetoric was one of the most potent ingredients of pre-genocide Hutu propaganda, fuelling ethnic hatred and accentuating divisions. But now the history of the genocide itself is also under debate.
Serious accusations have been levelled at the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) party, claiming it committed brutal war crimes and even genocide during its rise to power in 1994.
Evidence suggests that when Kagame's army, the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) fought the murderous Hutu militias; an estimated 300,000 Hutus lost their lives in revenge attacks. Human rights organisations observed that Rwanda's moves to prosecute those who recall this 'double genocide' represent the regime's attempt to conceal its own record of abuses.
The UN Human Rights Committee, last week, urged Rwanda to investigate the accusations and prosecute those responsible for the RPA killings.
Kigali, in the meantime, accuses the world of not doing enough to hunt down perpetrators of the genocide perpetrators still at large. Hundreds of suspects sought over their involvement in the killings are living in countries such as France, Belgium, Canada, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Wanted by the Tanzania-based International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, they live under false identities or sometimes in the open, as political refugees.
Genocide ideology and negationism
The Rwandan government has also pushed "the struggle against negationism" as a major theme for this year's genocide commemoration.
Within Rwanda, legislation prevents anyone from questioning the official historical record. Although the constitution already forbids denial of the 1994 killings, the Rwandan government has stepped up moves to combat 'genocide ideology'.
Rwandan law criminalises all ideas that might provoke ethnic division. Under the law, even children below the age of 12 will can be sent to a rehabilitation centre for a year if found guilty of any such crimes.
The legislation, adopted last year, followed reports of recurring 'genocidal' teachings in several schools, which and led the ministry of education to fire dozens of principals and teachers accused of propagating genocide ideology.