Kwibuka25: Memorial garden to be launched at Nyanza

Nyanza Genocide Memorial entrance. File.

As part of activities related to the 25th Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, more than 500 youths will on April 8 attend the launch of a memorial garden at Nyanza Genocide Memorial in Kicukiro District.

According to Geoffrey Bizimungu, the Director of Youth Social and Ethics Empowerment Unit at the Ministry of Youth, the garden is based on the fact that the area has a particular history of Genocide.

Nyanza is particularly known as the place where thousands of Tutsis were killed after they were abandoned by UN peacekeepers.

They had sought refuge at the former ETO-Kicukiro, (currently IPRC-Kigali), which was protected by UNAMIR peacekeepers, until the Belgian contingent decided to leave the country, leaving them at the mercy of Interahamwe militia.

“The garden where people can meet, remember and reflect on the history of Genocide will have features related to Genocide against the Tutsi, how it was executed and how the peacekeepers left Tutsi in the hands of Interahamwe. The second phase will have a library to help people learn more about Genocide,” he said.

The garden to be established on three hectares thanks to joint efforts by Kicukiro District, National Commission, for the Fight against Genocide and other partners is expected to have various tree and grass species, water and other features denoting a revived life as the country continues to rebuild itself.

Meanwhile, during a special Umuganda by the youth, Bizimungu said, they will clean various Genocide memorial sites, visit survivors, including the elderly, and provide support through manual activities, mobilising all youth to participate in commemoration activities.

“We urge the youth to take the first step towards fighting against genocide ideology. They are the fresh blood expected to continue rebuilding this nation. There will be youth conversations revolving around fighting genocide ideology and denial,” he said.

The official said that over 2,000 youths from Kigali city will attend a Walk-to-Remember on April, 7.

“We have also planned different activities, including visiting and supporting disabled ex-combatants in Musanze, Nyagatare and Kicukiro districts, who liberated the country and stopped the Genocide,” he said.

From to 2nd  to 6th April, he said, the youth will also be attending Olympic games under  Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) that will bring together Rwanda, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia,Kenya, Somalia, Burundi, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

“During the different games, there will be conversations related to combating genocide ideology.

Meanwhile, as more remains of victims of the Genocide continue to be discovered in different mass graves, the youth have been urged to participate in all activities related to giving the victims a decent burial.

Antoine Mutware, the Youth coordinator in Bugesera district said that last week remains for over 150 genocide victims were discovered in mass graves at ADEPER hospital in Nyamata Sector of Bugesera District.

“They have been taken to Nyamata memorial site,” he said.

“We are in the process of  treating the remains before giving them a decent burial which we will be doing on Wednesday March 27.”

Later this month over 62,000 victims will be accorded decent burial at Nyanza Genocide Memorial.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com