Residents of Nyarugenge District on Saturday converged on the banks of River Nyabarongo to unveil a monument set up in memory of victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi who were dumped into the waters.
The monument, on which names of 755 victims so far identified to have been thrown in River Nyabarongo during the Genocide are engraved, was built by Kigali Sector authorities in Nyarugenge District.
The monument has been set up on the boundaries of Nyarugenge and Kamonyi districts, a spot where hundreds of Tutsi were thrown into the river, some alive.
“We lost our people [killed] in Nyabarongo River but did not manage to get their bodies to bury them. That is why we wanted this monument,” said Martin Musoni, 59, a survivor.
The Kigali Sector resident recounted how Tutsi were cruelly taken into Nyabarongo River.
Musoni said he survived from Sainte Famille church in Kigali, but said a militiaman, only known as Setiba, as having been the cruelest of the killers, leading others in having victims of the Genocide thrown into the river.
He said Setiba was a supervisor of Interahamwe militia in Kigali city and the former Kigali Rural prefecture and was a known ideologue of the MRND party that orchestrated the Genocide.
Musoni said his extended family was large, but only three survived including him, his sister and little brother.
He said his mother and father, two children, and relatives were killed and thrown in Nyabarongo River.
The Minister for Education, Papias Malimba Musafiri, said the Tutsi who have already been identified to have been thrown dead or to death in River Nyabarongo and other victims of the Genocide at large, are victims of the hatred and genocide ideology that was promoted since 1959 by different leaders of the time.
“Although some of the people who masterminded the Genocide are still hiding in various parts of the world, there are others who have already been arrested and been held to account,” he said, citing Leon Mugesera who was last week sentenced to life in prison for Genocide crimes.
Musafiri said Mugesera delivered a hate message in Kabaya in 1992 that included calling for the Tutsi to be sent back to Ethiopia through River Nyabarongo as a short-cut, adding that he has at least been held accountable for his acts.
He noted that Rwandans should engage in building a good country, which Rwandans, their children and the future generation will be proud of, adding that hatred in the former government was replaced by love in the current government.
Nyarugenge mayor Kayisime Nzaramba said, this year, the district built 12 houses for Genocide survivors, adding that the district, in collaboration with its partners, will do whatever it can to develop and ensure the welfare of Genocide survivors improve further.