BUGESERA - Hundreds of mourners in Ruhuha sector, Bugesera district converged at River Nyabarongo to pay tribute to thousands of victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that were dumped and washed away in river Nyabarongo.
The mourners, who took part in a procession from the sector offices, about two kilometres away, showered the river with flowers in respect to over 2000 people from Ruhuha alone who died in these waters.
During the Genocide, many residents gathered in Ruhuha church hoping they would never be attacked. However, they were attacked by their fellow residents with the help of the ex-FAR soldiers as they tried to escape to Rebero, the nearby area where the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) troops had captured.
They were killed on the shores of River Nyabarongo by the militias under the leadership of one, Thadeo Sebuhindo, who was the leader of area then.
Only five people are said to have survived after a month in the swamp.
Sebuhindo, who is still at large, was also handed a life sentence in absentia by a local Gacaca court.
In his testimony, one of the survivors, Francois Munyendamutsa, said that they were attacked from both sides, making it difficult for anyone to escape.
“They were armed with guns, machetes and hoes. Those who would try to escape would be shot while many others were stabbed with machetes before throwing them in the river,” Munyendamutsa said.
“I managed to survive because I was behind them and when they attacked, I hid in a nearby bush.”
Munyendamutsa said that he spent about a month in the swamp while his entire family was killed.
The sector Executive Secretary, Gaspard Gasirabo, called upon the residents to unite towards a common development goal.
He urged them to extend love and any form of assistance to the Genocide survivors, saying that this would help them in the healing process.
Gasirabo urged residents to always report those harbouring intentions to destabilize the security of survivors, especially during this period.