Genocide survivors have this year identified 886 families whose 4,256 members were wiped out during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The families were identified in Western Province’s three districts of Rutsiro, Rubavu and Nyabihu in a search conducted by Graduate Genocide Survivors’ Organisation (GAERG).
The identification of the families comes ahead of the organisation’s memorial event in honour of those families tomorrow in Rubavu District.
This brings the total number of the families wiped out during the Genocide to 7,797 with 34,823 members in 17 districts that GAERG has already identified since it started conducting its study in 2009, according to a statement from the organisation.
A wiped out family is one whose entire members were killed, with no survivor to continue the lineage.
Since 2009, the families are remembered under the theme, “You Will Never Be Forgotten While I Am Still Alive.”
Speaking to The New Times, GAERG president Olivier Camarade Mazimpaka said the Genocide against the Tutsi claimed lives of many families, “which makes us always remember ours who were its victims.”
“During the commemoration period, everyone remembers their people, recalls their life and lays wreaths onto the memorial sites and carry out other commemorative rituals,” he said.
Keeping memories alive
Mazimpaka said GAERG decided to carry out the study to make sure that wiped out family are identified so their memory live on.
The search also entails finding out their names, what they liked, how they lived, what they aspired to be, their dreams, among other things.
“The purpose of all this is that although they were decimated, we, who survived, live on their behalf and that their names and life never get forgotten,” Mazimpaka said.
GAERG is an organisation founded by Rwandan graduates Genocide survivors in 2003 with a mission of creating a world where the memory of the Genocide is preserved and a self-sustaining survivors’ community exists, according to its statement.
The organisation is using Twitter hashtags #Ntukazime #Kwibuka23 to promote and communicate its activities this year.
This year marks the ninth time wiped out families are being remembered since the maiden remembrance on June 6, 2009, at Ntarama Genocide Memorial in Eastern Province’s Bugesera District.