Ngororero memorial site to be modernised

Plans are underway to refurbish and modernise Ngororero Genocide Memorial Centre and it is expected to host remains of over 23,000 victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Plans are underway to refurbish and modernise Ngororero Genocide Memorial Centre and it is expected to host remains of over 23,000 victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Construction works of the centre which will be named Ngororero Memorial Centre for Peace and Hope is estimated to cost over Rfw 30m and will have various facilities including a counselling centre, achieves for books and documentaries about the Genocide and mass graves.

This development was announced yesterday by Jacques Habimana, the vice Mayor of Ngororero District in charge of Development, Finance and Economics.

“The greatest courtesy we can give to those we lost in 1994 can only be to offer them a decent resting place. We hope that by the end of the 100 mourning days all the remains shall have been transferred to the new site,” Habimana told The New Times on Wednesday.

He emphasized that the gruesome murders that characterised the Genocide in Ngororero had also sparked off the idea of setting up the multi-million centre.

On April 13, 1994, thousands of Christians flocked the three churches in former Kibirira Commune and together with two priests, Louis Gasore and Francois Rwigenza, were murdered in cold blood under the orders of Jean Baptiste Nteziryayo, the then leader of the commune.

Ngororero is also home to Genocide mastermind Leo Mugesera currently in Canada and a rebel leader, Silvestre Mudacumura, popularly known as Muhutu.

Mugesera, a former lecturer is best known for his incendiary speech calling on the Tutsi to be killed and thrown into Nyabarongo River as a shortcut to Abyssinia (Ethiopia) where he said they hailed from. 

The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) gave a cheque worth Rfw 2 million towards the memorial.

NURC also donated household property and food worth over Rfw 1m and gave another cheque of Rfw 1.5 towards the rehabilitation of a survivors’ estate in Cyome in the same district.

Speaking to residents in Ngororero, Jean Baptiste Habyarimana, the president of NURC, called for unity as memories of the departed still linger in people’s minds.

Ngororero and Bugesera districts are some of the places in Rwanda where killings started long before 1994.

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