Bad politics caused the Genocide, says Minister Kaboneka

Local Government Minister Francis Kaboneka has condemned bad politics which he said was the force behind the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. He said this on Sunday in Bigabiro Sector, Rwamagana District where he had joined residents in a function to accord a decent burial to over 700 Genocide victims who were killed from nearby Rutonde hill.
Minister Francis Kaboneka addressing the people of Rwamagana on Sunday. / Kelly Rwamapera
Minister Francis Kaboneka addressing the people of Rwamagana on Sunday. / Kelly Rwamapera

Local Government Minister Francis Kaboneka has condemned bad politics which he said was the force behind the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

He said this on Sunday in Bigabiro Sector, Rwamagana District where he had joined residents in a function to accord a decent burial to over 700 Genocide victims who were killed from nearby Rutonde hill.

“It’s very horrific to think of a government whose responsibility is to bring people together and rally them for development, did the opposite, preached hate, and openly called upon people to kill their neighbours,” he said.

Kaboneka called upon residents of Rwamagana to embrace harmony and avoid genocide ideology, but instead seize the opportunities availed by the government to prosper.

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Minister Francis Kaboneka (extreme left) and IGP Emmanuel Gasana and Rwamagana District officials pay tribute to genocide victims at Rutonde. / Kelly Rwamapera

He added that: “Whoever entertains the evil ideas of genocide ideology should be ready to face the law. We cannot simply allow that to happen.”

Rwamagana District mayor Radjab Mbonyumuvunyi said the district is yet to build a better Genocide memorial where they can have the remains from sites in all sectors reburied.

Jean-Baptiste Mbihire, a Genocide survivor from the rocky hills of Rutonde where the genocide memorial stands today, was 24 years old during the Genocide.

He said that when the Interahamwe militias attacked their homes with machetes and other weaponry, they fled to Rutonde rocky hills to seek refuge.

“On the early morning of Friday April 15, 1994, we heard noise from around the surrounding villages and we knew it was a sign the Interahamwe were approaching. We were attacked in the hills and some of our relatives were killed.

Mbihire said that when the Interahamwe realised that the number of the people on Rutonde hill was very big, they decided to withdraw and returned the following day.

“The Interahamwe told us to separate with the Tutsi on one side and Hutus on the other. We refused because there wasn’t any clear difference between us.”

Mbihire says that at that time, a friend of his who was among the Interahamwe helped him to escape while the rest were killed.

This part of Rwamagana was former Rutonde commune led by then Bourgemestre (Mayor) Jean-Baptiste Bizimana who is now in prison for Genocide crimes.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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