Genocide Survivor murdered in Nyamasheke

WESTERN PROVINCE/KIGALI CITY - Another Genocide survivor has been murdered in Bushenge sector of Nyamasheke District, in Western Province.
Anaclet Nsanzishuti at the police post following his arrest in connection with the murder of Séraphine Uwankwera. (Photo/ S. Mugisha).
Anaclet Nsanzishuti at the police post following his arrest in connection with the murder of Séraphine Uwankwera. (Photo/ S. Mugisha).

WESTERN PROVINCE/KIGALI CITY - Another Genocide survivor has been murdered in Bushenge sector of Nyamasheke District, in Western Province.

According to police sources, Séraphine Uwankwera (50) a resident of Kagatamu cell was killed between 7:45-8 pm on Sunday April 12th and dumped on the roadside.

The deceased was murdered as she was coming from Gashirabwoba Genocide memorial site also in Bushenge sector where she had gone to attend a Genocide commemoration ceremony where some of her family members who were killed are buried.

Uwankwera was found while lying in a pool of blood in the morning of Monday by a 15-year-old girl (names withheld) who later ran and reported the matter to the Bushenge police post.
Joseline Nyirarukundo, a relative of the deceased, alleged to The New Times that the murderers are Genocide suspects who wanted to conceal evidence attesting to their role in the Genocide because the deceased has been a witness during Gacaca trials in the area.

In a subsequent phone interview, Theodore Simburudari, the President of IBUKA, the association of Genocide Survivors strongly condemned that act, which he referred to as a cruel act especially at the time when survivors are remembering their relatives and friends killed during the 1994 Genocide.

“It is a shame that some people still target Genocide survivors. This is a major obstacle to the peace and reconciliation process that has registered progress. We at IBUKA say this should stop once and for all” Simburudari noted.

He added that IBUKA will continue working with the police to hunt down people who kill survivors so that they can be brought to book.

Simburudali also revealed that Police has obtained clues on people suspected to have murdered two Genocide survivors, François Gasirabo and Jeanette Nyirabaganwa, in the Southern Province late last month.

“What is more surprising is that these people are killed in the same cruel ways people were killed during the 1994 Genocide. You find their bodies mutilated, their eyes gorged out and their genitals cut off. These are the same methods militias used to kill people during the Genocide,” Simburudari added.

He added that evidence is there that those murdered had either been warned by those they testified against or their relatives and friends.

Meanwhile, police sources from Nyamasheke yesterday confirmed that they have so far arrested two suspects in connection with Uwankwera’s murder.

The two suspects include one Anaclet Nsanzinshuti who was released by a presidential pardon after serving eight years at Cyangugu central prison on genocide charges and the deceased’s husband, Joseph Munyankindi.

“Two of her suspected killers, including her husband have arrested. Her her death could be connected to the Genocide ideology by some suspects in her home area who feared that she would testify against them in Gacaca courts,” said the source.

Police sources also said that the deceased had earlier reported to police authorities in Bushenge Sector that Nsanzinshuti together with other Genocide suspects and extremists were threatening her with death.

Sources also reveal that some months back Nsanzinshuti beat up the late Uwankwera in a market place but some residents came to her rescue.

The two suspects are now detained at Shangi police station from where they are expected to be arraigned before the Shangi Court of Lower Instance.

Security authorities together with the district officials visited the scene of the murder where they held a security meeting with areas residents and called for calm and urged them to always participate in community policing.

“We have been praying very hard to God to protect us, the survivors in Bushenge, but we knew that any time something bad would happened to the late Uwankwera because several Genocide suspects have been attempting to kill her especially in 2006” said another Genocide survivor who preferred anonymity.

The deceased had been a mediator (Umwunzi) and survivors in general have condemned her death and called upon the government to arrest all those involved in her death.  

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