Upgrade works on Kiziguro genocide memorial site begin

Works to upgrade Gatsibo District's genocide memorial site in Kiziguro are underway, a project that will be carried out in two fiscal years, costing Rwf380 million. 

The memorial site is a resting place to more than 14,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi. 

 

Gatsibo District is part of former Murambi Commune, in which Tutsis suffered a lot before and during the 1994 Genocide, under leadership of Jean Baptiste Gatete, who was sentenced to 40 years by International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for genocide crimes.  

 

Richard Gasana, the mayor of Gatsibo told The New Times that the memorial will have more than just graves, saying that they are constructing a building where details of the victims, like pictures, will be found. 

 

"We will also have space for history and literature written about the former Murambi commune," he added. 

The graves will also be upgraded, and on the outside, there will be a garden where mourners will gather during the commemoration, Gasana added. 

Sibomana Jean Nepo, Chairperson of Ibuka in Gatsibo District, said: "Construction of the Kiziguro memorial is something we have been waiting for a longtime, because that place keeps history of our people."

Sibomana added that it is a good thing because people who will come to visit, whether guided or not, will know the whole history of Genocide against the Tutsi in Murambi. 

"It should be like a school, where all people, especially young ones, will come and learn, in order for everyone to commit that genocide will never happen again," he added. 

The second genocide memorial site in Gatsibo is located in Bugarura, Remera Sector, however, Mayor Gasana said once the one in Kiziguro is complete next year, the bodies will be relocated from Bugarura to Kiziguro in order to have one site. 

Around 5,700 victims are buried in Bugarura site. 

According to the official, there are also victims buried in particular graves in different parts of the district, and their families have agreed their relocation to Kiziguro too. 

Relocating victims to one memorial site, however, does not change the fact that there are places where on a particular day people gather and commemorate. 

Those places include Rwankuba, Murambi Sector, Gatsibo District, at the shores of Lake Muhazi, where people gather to honour the Tutsis who were killed and dumped in the water during the Genocide.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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