Staff members of Enabel, the Belgian Development Agency, on Friday, May 12, visited Ntarama Genocide Memorial in Bugesera District to understand the history of Genocide against the Tutsi and pay tribute to the victims. They toured the memorial site and laid wreaths on the grave where over 6,000 genocide victims are laid to rest. This was part of the 29th commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda which claimed over one million lives in only 100 days. Enabel staff learnt how the genocide against the Tutsi was planned and executed in the country particularly in Bugesera district. Ntarama has a particular history of genocide since thousands of the Tutsi were killed there as they sought refuge at the former church. The Memorial is a testament of how merciless the killers were. The Memorial was a catholic parish and in the backyard was a one-classroom block of what used to be a Sunday school. The Church of Ntarama was converted into a genocide memorial on April 14, 1995 and was recently proposed to be included on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Inside the building, there are stains of blood on the walls. According to genocide survivors, young kids who sought refuge from there, were swung and smashed onto the walls by Interahamwe militia as they claimed that they did not want to waste their bullets. This form of killing was described by genocide survivors as the “most violent” during the 100 days of the Genocide. The memorial contains human remains, clothing, and artifacts belonging to those who were killed at the church, which remain on display at all times. Speaking after visiting the memorial site and paying tribute to genocide victims, Dirk Deprez, the Resident Representative of Enabel in Rwanda stated: “We need to remember victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. It is important for us as a team to show solidarity to genocide survivors and to Rwanda as whole. Unfortunately, we see in neighborhoods repetition of divisionism. We have to keep remembering so that it never happens again.” Deprez urged staff to work as a family to foster unity and reconciliation. “As regards the policy of unity, we have to begin with our institutions. It can help us to renew and rebuild Rwanda. We can contribute and be part of the changes we see in Rwanda. We have to keep remembrance in our hearts to make sure it never happens again,” he said. Jean-Michel Swalens, the Head of Cooperation in the Belgian embassy, who was part of the team that visited Ntarama memorial site added: “We have been able to see places where many people were slaughtered. It is really emotional. We all have a duty in development corporation, meaning we are working for the same goal, for sustainable development, development for all without discrimination with special attention for vulnerable people.” “We are aware of what happened and why. It is important to remember what happened in every day of our life, in solidarity, with no discrimination. To be simply human, I think is the good way to honour and remember the victims of genocide against the Tutsi.” François-RégisHabarugira, a staff member who spoke on behalf of Enabel staff, reiterated the need to understand genocide history and consider the rebirth of the country and strive to ensure genocide never happens again all over the world. “The staff understood the genocide history and how since 1959, the Tutsi were persecuted, up to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, he said. Commemoration is an opportunity to take measures to fight against divisionism in Rwanda and the rest of the world. We have to emulate RPF-Inkotanyi's unity values that it used to stop the genocide and rebuild our country so as to ensure that genocide never happens again.