Makuza pays tribute to fallen politicians, calls for fight against genocide denial

President of the Senate Bernard Makuza lays a wreath at Rebero Genocide Memorial on Saturday. Over 14,000 Genocide victims, including 12 politicians, are buried at the memorial site. Sam Ngendahimana.

The president of the Senate Bernard Makuza has paid tribute to the slain politicians who were killed in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and called for the international community to support the journey towards fighting denial.

Makuza was speaking on Saturday while honouring slain politicians who are buried at Rebero genocide memorial site in Kicukiro district.

Reserve Force Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Jacques Musemakweli pays tribute to the victims at Rebero Genocide Memorial (Sam Ngendahimana)

“We remember and honour people who are buried here, we will always remember them, we also condole with families to the deceased and ask them to be strong,” he said

All of the politicians, many of who were members of either the Liberal Party (PL) or Social Democratic Party (PSD), were reformists who called for peace and reconciliation, pushed for dialogue, and condemned hate ideology that was being propagated by the regime of President Juvenal Habyarimana.

(L-R) Foreign Affairs minister Sezibera , Ibuka President Prof Dusingizemungu, Local government Minister Prof Shyaka and CNLG Secretary Executive Bizimana follow Yussuf Ntamuhanga, the guardian of pact .

They include; Landouard Ndasingwa, Venantie Kabageni, Charles Kayiranga, André Kameya, Aloys Niyoyita, Augustin Rwayitare, and Jean de la Croix Rutaremara.

Others include Joseph Kavaruganda, Frederic Nzamurambaho, Félicien Ngango, Jean Baptiste Mushimiyimana, and Faustin Rucogoza.

Yussuf Ntamuhanga, the guardian of pact (Umurinzi w’Igihango) shares his testimony

Another politician, but who is not interred at Rebero, is Agathe Uwilingiyimana, the former Prime Minister who was laid to rest at the National Heroes’ Mausoleum in Remera.

Christine Mukabunani, the spokesperson for National Consultative Forum of Political Organisations shares her remarks

Families of senior politicians who were killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi were joined by national leaders and diplomats to honour the politicians who were laid to rest at the memorial centre.

Mourners laid wreaths on tombs where the former politicians are buried and paid homage to other Genocide victims buried there.

Over 14,000 genocide victims are buried at the memorial site including 12 politicians.

Family members of politicians who were killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi lay wreaths to honour the victims at Rebero Genocide Memorial site. Sam Ngendahimana.

Makuza said that genocide was not an accident stressing it was a fact that Genocide cannot be possible without the support of the government.

“The facts about the government’s involvement in the Genocide against the Tutsi are undeniable. They are everywhere and in testimonies including ICTR judgments,”

Officials pay tribute to the victims

He said that while Rwanda is still a member of the International community which abandoned the country during the genocide, Rwanda is committed to contribution towards bringing changes, especially in preventing genocide and fighting denial.

“There have been different resolutions about fighting Genocide denial and providing justice to survivors but only a few countries have implemented them,” Makuza said.

Members of families of the victims check some names of their late relatives

“If the international community really acknowledged its failure, it should adopt and implement these resolutions,” he added commending other countries that demonstrated political will to enact laws against genocide denial.

The senate president also commended the courage exhibited by genocide survivors throughout the commemoration week and the massive participation by the youth as a sign that gives hope for a better future.

Officials listen to the testimony during the event

Christine Mukabunani, the spokesperson for National Consultative Forum of Political Organisations (NFPO) hailed the politicians who risked their lives fighting bad leadership which propagated the genocide.

“These politicians tried to fight for the good governance of our country but this could not be possible because of the government that had a genocidal plan,” she said.

Minister ofJustice Busingye , Minister of Sports and Culture Nyirasafari and State Minister Nduhungirehe follow the testimony

“As politicians today, we have chosen politics that promotes the unity of Rwandans, fighting for common interests without divisionism,” she added noting that it was the task inherited by slain politicians.

During the event,there were also discussions on how bad leadership promoted hatred and divisionism that led to the genocide.

Prof Jean-Pierre Dusingizemungu, the President of Ibuka lays wreath at Rebero Genocide Memorial (Sam Ngendahimana)

Yussuf Ntamuhanga, the guardian of pact (Umurinzi w’Igihango) talked about the horrific event that unfolded in Rubavu where Tutsis were killed and how he dared to intervene and save some in paying bribes to killers.

Mournes read some names of the victims

“I helped Tutsi to cross the border to DR Congo, sometimes I used my money to corrupt killers at different roadblocks, the militia also wanted to kill me and I was forced to flee to DR Congo,” he said.

The event also marked the end of the 25th official commemoration week that started on April 7 and was marked by commemoration events in different parts of the country.

However, Rwandans will continue commemorating for the next 100 days, the same period of time that genocide was committed, according to officials.


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