[PHOTOS]: Women, child victims of Genocide honoured

At least 620 children and women tortured and brutally murdered in Sovu and Rubona cells of Rwamagana District during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi were honoured on Wednesday.
Grandchildren of victims of the Genocide queue to lay wreaths on a tomb. (Stephen Rwembeho)
Grandchildren of victims of the Genocide queue to lay wreaths on a tomb. (Stephen Rwembeho)

At least 620 children and women tortured and brutally murdered in Sovu and Rubona cells of Rwamagana District during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi were honoured on Wednesday.

Eighty-three children, 350 women and 167 men were killed in what is still remembered as one of the most brutality ever to be suffered by mankind.

 
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Candle of hope were lit during commemoration event.

The ceremony that attracted hundreds of people from across the country was also attended by some members of the East African Legislative Assembly, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, Jacqueline Kamanzi, and Governor Odette Uwamariya, the governor of Eastern Province.

 

Jean Pierre Nkuranga, who spoke on behalf of the survivors, said Hutu and Tutsi neighbours lived in harmony until the death of President Juvenal Habyarimana.

 
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Genocide survivors genocide carry remains of three children to a cemetery.

“Habyarimana’s death was the climax. Genocide had all along been planned, we were surprised when one day all Hutu neighbours turned their swords on us. Massive murders followed. Tutsi were hunted down like wild animals,” he said.

“Rape was common… thousands of Tutsi women were raped, sexually abused with objects such as sharp sticks or gun barrels, held in sexual slavery or sexually mutilated. They were dehumanised and subjugated. Children were cut into pieces and thrown into pit latrine just like their mothers,” he said.

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The remains of the children lowered into the grave as EALA members Pierre Celestin Rwigema, Christopher Bazivamo and Dr. James Ndahiro look on.

Kamanzi said the role of children in nation building should be emphasised, adding that it was a shame the perpetrators of the genocide targeted the vulnerable.

“We must remember our ugly past so as to shape a better future. Unity, peace and security are the foundation of everything. The little children here must take note of this. They should learn about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Children must grow up to avoid discrimination, hate and divisionism,” she said.

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Genocide survivors couldn't hold their tears as they to bury the remains of their loved ones.

Governor Uwamariya reiterated the importance of reconciliation and unity.

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Widows and orphans lay wreaths to the grave. (All photos by Rwembeho)

“The ugly testimonies of hatred and massacre of the vulnerable is shocking…it must however give us the courage to fight any reemergence of such evil. The actors were possessed by evil, this must be dumped in our history as we move for a new united society,” Uwamariya said.

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