GICUMBI – Genocide survivors in Bukure Sector, Gicumbi district, say over 25,000 Tutsi, who were fleeing from Interahamwe militias perished in Lake Muhazi.
The survivors made the revelation on Wednesday, during the 16th Genocide commemoration held at Rwesero beach.
“Most of the Tutsi who perished in this lake came from Kigali city and former Kigali Ngali Prefecture, fleeing from the militias. Those who attempted to cross the lake by swimming were shot at by Interahamwe militias on speed boats,” said Emmanuel Rubangura.
As part of the commemoration activities, residents marched a 4 km distance along the banks of Lake Muhazi, in Rwesero Cell.
Addressing the mourners, the advisor to the Northern Province Governor, Ferdinand Karake, remarked that the commemoration period serves as one of deterrence measures to avoid the re-occurrence of genocide in Rwanda.
“Through commemorations we are able to lay down strategies aimed at avoiding its re-occurrence,” he said.
Karake urged residents against down playing the Genocide and verbally insulting survivors.
“Government has made tremendous strides in the area of unity and reconciliation, rendering justice to Genocide perpetrators and reviving the economy,” added Karake.
On his part, Mayor Bonane Nyangezi, advised survivors to have courage and hope for a better future. The district chairman of IBUKA, Théophile Niyonzima, hailed the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPA) soldiers for their courageous role in stopping the massacre of more Tutsi in the area.
“Many Tutsi who ran for refuge at Rwesero minor seminary during the Genocide were rescued by advancing RPA soldiers,” he recalled.
Also present was Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) 408 Brigade Commander Brig. Gen Eric Murokore, Gicumbi and Rulindo districts Prosecutor, Vincent Niyonzima and religious leaders.