Obama commemorates anniversary of Rwandan genocide

"Today, as the United States grieves with the Rwandan people at this moment of remembrance, we are inspired by their spirit as they build a more peaceful and prosperous tomorrow," said Obama in a statement. 

"We look with you to the future and renew our commitment to human rights and the rule of law, to the protection of the vulnerable, and to the prevention of atrocities so that such evil is never repeated," he continued.

More than 800,000 Rwandans were killed in the 1994 genocide, according to a United Nations estimate, which was sparked by mass killings by the majority ethnic group in the nation, Hutus, of the minority ethnic group, Tutsis.

The U.S. and the international community has been criticized in years following the genocide for not doing enough to prevent the killings.

Rwanda has run into controversy on Capitol Hill recently over its support for a rebel group in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Lawmakers last year criticized Rwandan backing for M23, which is accused of committing atrocities in eastern Congo, urging the white House to cut foreign aid for Rwanda’s government.