A group representing genocide survivors in Rubavu district is seeking the creation of a memorial garden at Commune Rouge, a site in the former Gisenyi town where preparations for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi were made. Over 5,000 Tutsis from Gisenyi and surrounding areas who were killed, as well as others who were seeking to flee to the Democratic Republic of Congo, are buried at the existing memorial site. ALSO READ: Commune Rouge, the slaughter scene where Tutsi were buried alive in 1994 Gerard Mbarushimana, the head of Ibuka in Rubavu, suggested the creation of a garden during a night vigil on Sunday, as a way to avoid commemorating in schools in the future. Mbarushimana also called for the preservation of the unique history of the genocide in the area, saying that testimonies are not being recorded. Furaha Françoise Gatera, a teacher whose family members are buried at Commune Rouge, said that the memorial site is considered their home and the creation of a garden would help survivors remember their loved ones and educate younger generations. “We consider this place as our home because our families are resting here. The garden will help genocide survivors coming here to remember their parents and family members, it will also help us tell children that their relatives are here,” she added. Rubavu District Mayor Ildephonse Kambogo said that ongoing projects include plans for the memorial garden and that stakeholders and families of victims buried at the site have agreed to support the initiative. ALSO READ: Genocide survivors want monument at Muhungwe hill Minister of National Unity and Civic Engagement, Dr. Bizimana Jean-Damascene, speaking during the 29th commemoration event in Rubavu district recently, emphasized the importance of the garden as a component of the memorial site and of preserving the history of the genocide. The minister also noted that most memorial sites are on the district level and that it is therefore the district's responsibility to establish the garden.