In April 1994, the eyes of the world were on Africa. What was possibly the most significant story from the continent in a generation was covered by news media teams from almost every country on the globe. The most senior African journalists from every agency, broadcaster or publication, were reporting what had once been unthinkable; the election of a black President of South Africa.
The accounts of ethnic violence that began to issue from the small East African country of Rwanda at the same time struggled to catch the attention of the rest of the world's media, politicians, or people. The international community was slow to notice and slow to react. By the time the first overseas journalists stood on Rusumo Bridge, the roadway was choked with Hutu refugees fleeing in fear of retaliation; the river below was filled with the corpses of Tutsi.
It was the refugee crisis that first caught the attention of the world beyond Rwanda's border. An estimated 500,000 people fled across Rusumo bridge; 250,000 of those crossed in a single 24-hour period. The huge makeshift camps that grew in Tanzania were journalists' first insight into the scale of the horror in Rwanda; the sights they saw from the bridge showed them the brutality.
Almost every Rwandan river flows into this one. The hundreds, thousands of bodies that had been unceremoniously dumped into streams and rivers across the country all came here. The breathtakingly beautiful Rusumo Falls were transformed into a mechanism of mute witness as their tumbling waters displayed the victims of the genocide.
Lev says: 'Pushed on 26km over the eastern ridges following the Tanzanian border. Crossed the famous bridge that witnessed thousands of refugees after the 1994 genocide and mid-afternoon crossed onto Tanzanian soil. First country complete, 416km walked. Staying this evening in a guesthouse on the border overlooking the river and tomorrow will have a rest day to prepare for the Tanzanian wilderness.
Today the old bridge is being replaced; its replacement is under construction and soon the old bridge will be only a memory. In Rwanda the events of 1994 are memories too, ones that the nation does not forget or deny; the country has only been able to move on by acknowledging those horrors it is moving away from.