Call for arrest of Genocide fugitives as 35,000 victims get decent burial

Concerted effort should be made to ensure Genocide fugitives still at large are arrested and prosecuted for their crimes. The call was made on Saturday during the reburial of remains of over 35,000 Genocide victims at Rukira Genocide memorial site in Huye District.
Pallbearers carry one of the caskets containing the remains of Genocide victims during the reburial at Rukira Genocide memorial in  Huye District on Saturday. (Emmanuel Ntirenganya)
Pallbearers carry one of the caskets containing the remains of Genocide victims during the reburial at Rukira Genocide memorial in Huye District on Saturday. (Emmanuel Ntirenganya)

Concerted effort should be made to ensure Genocide fugitives still at large are arrested and prosecuted for their crimes.

The call was made on Saturday during the reburial of remains of over 35,000 Genocide victims at Rukira Genocide memorial site in Huye District.

The victims were among those who had fled to Rukira Primary School for refuge during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Gerome Kajuga, a representative of the victims’ families, recalled how the killings in the area were spearheaded by the former Huye Bourgmestre Jonatas Ruremesha, who remains at large.

“Ruremesha blew the whistle urging Hutu to kill Tutsi. It hurts us to see that he, and other people who orchestrated the Genocide are living freely abroad. We need concerted effort to ensure those people are brought to book,” he said.

The vice president of Ibuka, Egide Nkuranga, also said, Genocide perpetrators should be arrested wherever they may be. They ought to pay for denying innocent people the right to life, he said.

“Their crimes remain, however long they hide, they will be arrested; it’s a matter of time,” he said, castigating former bourgmestre(mayor) Ruremesha for abusing his power by inciting the killing of Tutsi in Huye.

Ibuka is the umbrella body of Genocide survivors.

Senator Marie Claire Mukasine blamed the then government for the Genocide and also called for the arrest and prosecution of all perpetrators who are still at large.

Relief for survivors

Bertin Mubirigi, a survivor who was at Rukira school during the killings, said there were about 20,000 Tutsi who had fled there.

He recalled how, prior to the massacres, victims were deprived of food and drinks for four days.

“Our loved ones were killed and their bodies dumped in pits. But, we are now relieved that their remains have received a decent burial,” he said.

The victims had been dumped into a mass grave at Rukira Primary School.

The Mayor of Huye District, Eugene Kayiranga Muzuka warned Rwandans against genocide denial.

“It is time we told Genocide perpetrators and deniers that they are wrong and need to change their minds. Rwandans should join hands to achieve sustainable development for all,” he said.

Survivors commended Huye Sector residents who spent two months retrieving the remains for reburial, saying that it’s a sign of unity and reconciliation.

Huye is one of the areas that were most hit by the Genocide, Mayor Muzuka said.

The search for remains of other victims continues.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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