Caption:AOS Chief Executive Officer Dae Heak AN lays wreaths at Rukara Genocide memorial on Friday
By John Mbaraga
AOS management and staff, on Friday gathered at Rukara Genocide Memorial in Kayonza District to pay tribute the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and handed a cheque of Rwf3.5 million to buy ten cows for ten families of survivors.
Caption: Three Genocide survivors hold a cheque given to them by AOS in Rukara Sector
The staff were briefed about the history of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in former Rukara commune (now Rukara sector) and neighboring areas.
Briefing the delegation about the history of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in the region, Rukara sector’s executive secretary in charge of social affairs, Emmanuel Mfitimfura said the victims laid to rest in the memorial were from communes of Rukara, Kawangire, Murambi, Nyawera and Ryamanyoni among other places.
Caption: AOS Chief Executive Officer Dae Heak AN (L) and the staff observe a minute of silence to honor the victims at Rukara Genocide memorial on Friday
“Tutsi from different areas came to seek refuge in Rukara Parish thinking that it will be a safe haven, but, on the contrary they were coming to the slaughter scene where in few days Interahamwe militia started shooting and throwing grenades in the crowd of people who were gathered inside the church” he explained.
He said the main dates with big attacks that saw many dead are those of 9th, 12nd, 14th April 1994 when during the night people from the parish and all around faced mass murder.
Rukara memorial is a home for remains of 8037 victims, a number which officials say to be small compared to the number of Tutsi who were killed in the region.
Mfitimfura said in recent years, the district leadership partnered with residents and constructed a decent mass grave with a house for the safety of bodies that were previously laid in risky manner.
“In 2014, bodies were given decent burial, but we still need partners that could facilitate us to construct a house containing the history of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in this region” he said.
After being briefed about the history of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rukara, the Chief Executive Officer of AOS, Dae Heak An said it was a big opportunity to join and support people in commemoration because the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi is an act against humanity.
“A crime against humanity victimizes everybody, so by recalling the historical wounds and helping each other to heal the wounds is good basis for a good country and next generation of Rwanda. This is why we decided to organise this commemoration ceremony and support the people who survived the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi” he said.
He continued to explain that as a sign of their commitment and support, they bought ten cows to the selected group of survivors.
“I believe that these cows will multiply and benefit many people” he said calling upon the district leadership to ensure the beneficiaries and other people will get benefits from the company’s support.
Cyprien Mpayimana, the Director for Agriculture and Livestock at Kayonza District thanked the AOS initiative to commemorate and donate to 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi survivors saying that it helps in resilience, welfare and self-reliance for survivors.
“Donation of these cows is a good gesture that backs other programmes leading to welfare of survivors including one cow per family programme (Girinka)” he said.
Meanwhile, the district decided to distribute the cows based on the pending names on the list of survivor’s fund (FARG).
Four cows will be allocated to survivors in Rukara, three in Mukarange, two in Kabarondo and one will go to Murundi.
Speaking to The New Times, Laurent Nyirinkwaya, a father of six said the cow will help him get manure and improve his cultivation.
“I really appreciate this kind gesture, my children will be served with daily milk, and help get increased farm production “ he said adding that all his cows were looted during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
For Josephine Mukandekezi, the cow will help her fight malnutrition among her six children and be able to pay health insurance and school fees.
“I get my daily living from cultivation, my farm was unproductive enough but I hope the production volume will change” she said adding that the milk will help her in fighting malnutrition in her family.
Caption: AOS staff pose for a group photo after visiting Rukara Genocide Memorial in Kayonza District
AOS was established in 2013 as a joint venture between the government of Rwanda and kt Corporation to stimulate IT industry growth, transfer technology and localise skills to support the transformation of Rwanda into a knowledge-based middle-income economy. AOS also operates the National Data Center of Rwanda and offers various ICT services such as colocation, Web & Mail hosting, and Cloud (IaaS, SaaS, etc).
Since 2007, the Government of Rwanda has partnered with Korea Telecom, a leading global ICT service provider, to bring in cutting-edge ICT technologies.
This trusted and long-term partnership evolved into the strong agreement to collectively achieve bigger goals: developing the ICT sector into a vibrant industry, positioning Rwanda as the regional ICT hub, and fuelling economic growth by enabling effective delivery of business services in Rwanda.
As a vehicle to implement these bigger goals, the two parties set up a joint venture, AOS Ltd. in early 2014.