Members of Parliament yesterday raised concerns over the current state of Bisesero Memorial Site, saying that ever since it was constructed, it has never been renovated and risks collapsing.
This was revealed by the chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Unity, Human Rights and the Fight against Genocide, Evariste Kalisa, while presenting a study conducted by his committee on several issues across the country.
“Part of the work we did was visiting memorial sites and inspecting the state they are in. Bisesero Memorial Site is particularly in a worrying condition and may collapse soon if it is not renovated,” said Kalisa.
Located in the Western Province, the site currently harbours remains of between 50,000 and 60,000 victims and it is composed of nine small structures which represent the nine communes that formerly made up the Prefecture of Kibuye.
Kalisa recommended that the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) take immediate action to conserve the memorial.
This particular site was established to recognize victims who died on Bisesero hill as they tried to defend themselves against former government soldiers (ex-FAR) and Interahamwe militia.
They valiently resisted the attacks, repulsing the militia and ex-FAR using traditional weapons against their enemy who was fully equipped with modern weapons and who attacked in big numbers.
Meanwhile, Kalisa’s report also indicated that over 20,000 remains of Genocide victims in the former Rwamatamu commune near Bisesero have never been accorded decent burial since the Genocide.
“Mass graves around Gatwaro Stadium are poorly maintained and cows graze on them,” Kalisa revealed.
Gatwaro is also in the Western Province.
Kalisa’s report also exposed excessive use of marijuana along the Rwanda-DR Congo border.
“In Karongi District, we discovered that many people use marijuana and there are no strict measures in place to curb this vice. We were also told there people grow marijuana in their homes,” said Kalisa.
He added that while compiling the report, members of his committee were told that there are large farms of marijuana inside Nyungwe Natural Forest.
“The main problem is that neighbouring countries do not consider use of marijuana as a serious felony and this behaviour is spreading over to Rwanda,” said Kalisa.
Several other issues raised in the report included the security of Genocide survivors, prisoners’ welfare and detention facilities that are in a poor state among others.
MPs resolved to summon the Minister of Internal Security to get explanations on the issues raised in the report.