Rwamagana Genocide victims remembered

The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was very distinctive because it involved family members, relatives and friends. “Neighbours killed neighbours and husbands killed their Tutsi wives…children born of one Tutsi parent were also killed.
Leaders observe a minute's silence in honour of the Genocide victims. (Stephen  Rwembeho)
Leaders observe a minute's silence in honour of the Genocide victims. (Stephen Rwembeho)

The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was very distinctive because it involved family members, relatives and friends.

“Neighbours killed neighbours and husbands killed their Tutsi wives…children born of one Tutsi parent were also killed.

“It was strange, parents and children alike were subjected to terrible humiliations and torture before they were killed,” Jeanne d’Arc Uwimanimpaye, deputy Speaker of Parliament said. She was addressing hundreds of mourners who turned up for a Genocide commemoration ceremony in Bibare, Rutonde in Rwamagana District ,yesterday.

Rutonde was one of the areas inhabited by many Tutsi in the former sous-prefecture of Rutonde, now part of Rwamagana District.

Estimates say at least 756 Tutsi were killed in just two days...most of the killers were a notorious group of Hutu militia locally known as ‘Abakyemba’. Hundreds of victims of the Genocide are believed to be still unaccounted for in the district.

Uwimanimpaye described the cruelty with which the Tutsi were killed as awful; adding that despite having enough guns and bullets the killers used traditional weapons.

“The use of traditional weapons like machetes, axes, spears, arrows and bows was not accidental. They were not short of modern weapons to kill, but chose the weapons that would inflict more pain on the victims as they died slowly.”

She said that in most genocides elsewhere people were bombarded or shot with bullets and grenades.

Noting that the Genocide happened in the presence of UN forces, Uwimanimpaye said it was only in Rwanda where the UN abandoned dying people.

“Where else, if not in Rwanda did the UN abandon people to die?. Some of the UN forces were even accomplice in the Genocide. It’s a big shame,” she added.

She urged Genocide survivors and Rwandans in general to ‘shame’ the perpetrators working hard to develop the country.

“The perpetrators never wanted Rwanda to exist…the only way to humiliate them is by developing as individuals and as a nation. So let’s work hard.”

Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel K. Gasana assured Rwandans of security.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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