NGOMA/BUGESERA – Tens of thousands of people gathered in Rukumberi sector, Ngoma district at the weekend to bury remains of 50 genocide victims which were recently discovered in the area.
Children, women, old and young braved scotching sun, and later the heavy down pour for the burial ceremony.
Jean Pierre Kabaranga, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture and Sports, other government officials and religious leaders in their speeches castigated the genocide and its ideology.
Kabaranga advised survivors to remain strong as they commemorate the loss of their beloved ones.
“We Rwandans can define genocide better since we experienced it. Let the planners who are today’s deniers deceive others, but not Rwandans,” he said.
“Remembering strengthens the survivors and other Rwandans in general…we shall continue remembering.”
Bishop Emmanuel Mugirineza, of REGINA MUNDI Cathedral in Bujumbura, Burundi, one of the survivors of the Rukumberi massacres, said that he reflects on the genocide at all times.
“My parents perished here, they were not fighting and had no grudges of any sort, with their neighbours, who turned machetes on them.…God will keep their souls in eternal peace,” he said.
Damien Niyoshutu, who was 16 by then, said that the victims had no escape route, since the area is surrounded by barriers like lakes.
A delegation from Burundi that comprised of religious leaders and other officials joined residents of Rukumberi in the burial ceremony.
Over 35,000 Tutsi bodies have so far been buried in Rukumberi memorial cemetery, since the stoppage of the genocide.
The cemetery is expected to be turned into a big standard memorial site in the country in the near future.
Meanwhile, over 9,000 bodies were buried in a new genocide cemetery in Ruhuha sector, Bugesera district over the weekend.
The district Mayor, Louis Rwagaju advised survivors not to be overwhelmed by the ugly past, but work hard to improve their shattered lives.
Legislature Francis Kaboneka, said that while Rwandans remember the genocide with agony, they should also use the anguish as a motivational factor to forge unity.