GISAGARA - Scores of Genocide victims in Kansi Sector, Gisagara district, were burnt alive in a metal water tank by militias, survivors said on Tuesday- a rare revelation that left survivors in shock.
Emmanuel Ntigura, a survivor, who revealed the information, said he learnt of it through a recent conversation with another survivor who was at the scene when the victims were subjected to this gruesome death.
“More than 20 Tutsis who sought refuge in the water tank thinking that they could not be discovered were burnt alive by the killers,” Ntigura told a crowd of residents and local leaders who had gathered near the water tank during the wrap up of the commemoration activities.
The metal water tank is still used to keep water that serves students of the Groupe Scolaire Saint François d’Assise de Kansi.
Survivors, say this new information is a sign that unearthing the whole truth about the genocide will take some more time.
They appealed for more time for Gacaca jurisdictions to operate in order to collect all information needed to conclude the trial of all the suspects that are still in hiding.
“It is clear that not all Genocide perpetrators have been identified. This case of victims who were burnt alive was unknown until today. People kept quiet though they knew about it,” said Josee Nyirabazungu, the representative of Genocide survivors in Kansi sector.
Addressing the mourners, the district Mayor Léandre Karekezi said closing Gacaca courts does not mean denying justice to those who lost their loved ones in the genocide.
People who were not tried by Gacaca courts will not escape justice, he said.
“Genocide is a crime that can be tried at whatever time. Whenever a suspect is identified, he will have to face court,” Karekezi said.
He requested that the tank be conserved as memorial site and never be used for other purposes.
MP Speciose Mukandutiye, urged residents to keep helping survivors as a way of fighting trauma.
More than 10,000 Tutsis who sought refuge in Kansi Catholic Church were butchered by Interahamwe militias in April 1994.
Many of them had fled from different communes of the then Butare prefecture, and in the neighboring prefectures of Gikongoro and Gitarama.