We wish you were here to see how we’re grown up – orphans

Hundreds of mourners gathered at Mukarange Genocide memorial site in Kayonza District to remember victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Young survivors of the Genocide were among the hundreds of bereaved families who gathered at the memorial.
Young Genocide survivors read out the names of those who were killed in Kayonza. / Kelly Rwamapera
Young Genocide survivors read out the names of those who were killed in Kayonza. / Kelly Rwamapera

Hundreds of mourners gathered at Mukarange Genocide memorial site in Kayonza District to remember victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Young survivors of the Genocide were among the hundreds of bereaved families who gathered at the memorial.

Each of them had a piece of paper with names of victims of the Genocide written on, which they read out loud.

In all, they were a hundred families from a hundred villages of Mukarange. From each village one victim’s family was mentioned to represent the rest of the victims.

“We wish you were here to see how we’ve become grown-ups, how we’re good boys and girls,” the youth survivors said in unison.

The commemoration included reburial of remains of twenty-three victims of the Genocide at the same site.

Remains of up to 8707 victims are buried there.

Ten of these were discovered separately in bushes in various cells of Mukarange while thirteen were moved from homes where they had been buried.

The Minister-in-charge of Cabinet Affairs, Stella Ford Mugabo, asked the sobbing masses to use their agony to teach their fellow Rwandans to embrace peace.

“These one hundred days are dificult for all Rwandans but it is from such difficult situations that we derive courage to relentlessly teach fellow Rwandans who were fed on genocide ideology for so long,” she said.

Mugabo asked parents and religious leaders to teach patriotism and unity as a way of fighting genocide ideology.

The provincial governor, Judith Kazayire, said that genocide can never happen again in Rwanda because the “The people who stopped genocide are still with us moreover with improved capacity to face all the challenges that come our way.”

Mukarange was former sector of Muhazi Commune, running along the southern part of Lake Muhazi.

According to Gisele Rutagengwa, a Genocide survivor of Mukarange, the massacres in the area were orchestrated by extremist Bourgmestre (mayor) Jean Baptiste Gatete of Murambi Commune.

During the Genocide, Rutagengwa’s extended family, along with other Tutsi, were rounded up and killed.

Those who escaped went to Mukarange Roman Catholic Church where over 5000 were later massacred by the Interahamwe militias on April 12, 1994.

To date, Kayonza District is yet to construct a Genocide memorial but there are mass graves in every sector of the district.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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