Residents of Nyarubuye Sector in Kirehe District on Tuesday paid homage to 51,000 victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Residents, together with local leaders, embarked on a three-kilometre march from Nyarutunga cell-up to Nyarubuye Genocide Memorial site.
The site was formally part of the Catholic Church.
The church had a convent and a school used to attract people from all around for mass and education.
The former school and convent areas have since been turned into a memorial site while the church is still used for mass.
Vincent Nsengiyumva, a representative of Ibuka, an umbrella organisation for Genocide survivors, while explaining how the massacres were carried out in the area said at least 20, 000 people were slaughtered, hacked, and murdered in the church where they had sought refuge.
He said the Interahamwe militia stormed the church and attacked all those inside.
“They used machetes, grenades and guns to murder innocent civilians. The only survivors of the massacre are those who had been covered by corpses and stayed underneath for days,” he said.
“The church was turned into a slaughter house where people were attacked with machetes and blunt objects, guns and grenades.
A sacred place was turned into a brutal murder scene and a final resting place for so many. It is sad that people were slaughtered in a sacred place,” Nsengiyunva said.
The Mayor of Kirehe District advised residents to embrace the concept of Ndi Umunyarwanda.
He said the ugly history of Nyarubuye and Rwanda, in general, could be buried by Ndi Umunyarwanda.
“We must forget about things that divide us. The genocidal regimes taught hatred that culminated into the Genocide. We must preach love and comradeship so that we uphold our belief that genocide will never happen again in Rwanda,” he said.