Remains of 100 Genocide victims buried in Ruhango

It was a sombre mood as thousands of survivors, relatives, friends, residents and government officials thronged Ruhango Memorial Site to accord decent burial to 105 victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi whose remains were recently retrieved from different part of the district.
Students queue to enter Ruhango Memorial Site in Kinazi, yesterday, to witness burial of remains of 105 victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that were recently retrieved from different parts of the district. (John Mbanda)
Students queue to enter Ruhango Memorial Site in Kinazi, yesterday, to witness burial of remains of 105 victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that were recently retrieved from different parts of the district. (John Mbanda)

It was a sombre mood as thousands of survivors, relatives, friends, residents and government officials thronged Ruhango Memorial Site to accord decent burial to 105 victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi whose remains were recently retrieved from different part of the district.

As victims were being according a befitting burial, survivors recounted memories of how their beloved ones were brutally killed, with some saying that they are yet to know the whereabouts of their relatives’ remains.

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Survivors deliver testimonies during the commemoration in Kinazi yesterday.

In what seemed to be a collective move, survivors called for the prosecution of people responsible for the massacres, some of whom are foreigners while others included men such as Charles Kagabo, who was the Bourgmestre (mayor) of Ntongwe commune and is now believed to be in DR Congo jungles.

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People view remains of the 1994 Genocide victims inside the memorial at Kinazi yesterday.

“Our relatives, families and friends were killed in the most brutal and unimaginable way, those who killed them have not been prosecuted, they include Burundian refugees who were in Rwanda between 1980s to the time of the Genocide, they later went back to their country and have never been prosecuted,” said Alex Rusagara, the head of Genocide survivors of Kinazi Sector, formerly Ntongwe commune.

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People view remains of the 1994 Genocide victims inside the memorial at Kinazi yesterday. 

Rusagara requested the government to establish a special commission that would work with the Burundian government in identifying and bringing to book those that may have participated in the Genocide.

Emmanuel Mugabo, who represented families of the 105 victims reburied yesterday, said that among those accorded a decent burial yesterday included members of his immediate family.

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Some of the victims' belongings.

“It took us a long time to find their remains. We had to go beg those that killed them (for information about whereabouts of remains), today, we are at peace that our relatives are resting well and decently,” said Mugabo.

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People emerge from the Genocide memorial after viewing remains of the victims.

The commemoration event was graced by the State Minister in charge of Public Health and Primary Healthcare, Patrick Ndimubanzi, who called for continued fight against genocide ideology.

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People enter the Genocide memorial at Kinazi during the commemoration in Ruhango District yesterday.

“We can only counter genocide ideology by continuously telling the truth about what happened and documenting testimonies. We have made progress in the past 21 years during which have witnessed true unity and reconciliation,” Ndimubanzi said.

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People enter the Genocide memorial at Kinazi during the commemoration in Ruhango District yesterday. (All photos by John Mbanda)

During the event, survivors gave testimonies of how they were lured into gathering at the Commune offices where they would later be attacked and most of them killed.

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