Over 50,000 people perished in Nyarubuye church and its environs

KIREHE - Tens of thousands of Kirehe district residents and others from all of the country wrapped up the 16th genocide commemoration activities on Wednesday with a 3km peaceful march to commemorate the onset of the massacres in Nyarubuye sector.
Nyarubuye residents listen to testimonies of survivors. (Photo: S. Rwembeho)
Nyarubuye residents listen to testimonies of survivors. (Photo: S. Rwembeho)

KIREHE - Tens of thousands of Kirehe district residents and others from all of the country wrapped up the 16th genocide commemoration activities on Wednesday with a 3km peaceful march to commemorate the onset of the massacres in Nyarubuye sector.

Addressing the marchers, the Kirehe district Mayor, Protais Mitali, described the atrocities committed in Nyarubuye and especially those in the Church as horrible.

He stressed the need to support the few survivors so that they live a new life.

“Survivors’ lives were shattered, as responsible citizens we all have to help them,” he said.

Jacqueline Mutuminkwa, 45, a survivor, told The New Times that her life will never be the same again, after the genocide.

She recounted how she was cut with machetes and slept among dead bodies for over two weeks, until the then RPF/A soldiers rescued her.

“We thought the church could offer us a sanctuary but we were followed inside the church, and butchered like wild animals. If it was not for RPA soldiers, I would have died a slow and painful death.”

Over 35,000 Tutsi died in Nyarubayi Catholic Church while others numbering 16,000, died in its environs and villages.

The total number of victims in Nyarubuye is estimated to be well over 51,000, according to Ibuka officials.

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