KIGALI - The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) yesterday launched a book on the massacres of Tutsi in the former Murambi commune, now in Gatsibo District, Eastern Province, during the 1994 Genocide.
The 436-page book written in Kinyarwanda titled: “Uko Jenocide yakorewe Abatutsi yagenze mu cyahoze ari Komini Murambi mu Buganza” (How the Genocide of Tutsi was carried out in the former Murambi, Buganza), was written by Father Laurent Rutinduka, 43, who hails from Kiziguro in the former Murambi Commune.
The book is divided into five major sections, including the origin of the anti-Tutsi ideology, the Ubuganza administration from 1895-1960 as well as the period of the Genocide. It names some of the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi and how most of them were tragically slaughtered in Murambi.
In his book, Fr Rutinduka describes the Bourgmestre (equivalent of the present-day Mayor) of Murambi between 1987 and 1993, Jean-Baptiste Gatete, as a man who ushered in a campaign of terror against Tutsi civilians resulting in thousands of deaths in Byumba and Kibungo prefectures.
He accuses him of ordering Interahamwe militia to massacre several thousands of helpless Tutsi civilians who had taken refuge in Kiziguro and Mukarange churches in Kayonza.
Speaking at the launch, the author said the book is a result of testimonies of witnesses and survivors of the atrocities.
“In this book, I mention all the Genocide victims in Murambi and how they were killed,” he said. “I moved from house to house, sector by sector searching for survivors to tell me about the Genocide victims in Murambi”.
He added that while writing his book, he met some challenges, including traumatized survivors who could not remember what really transpired at the time, and some Genocide suspects who withheld information.
Fr Rutinduka urged fellow priests to join the war against Genocide ideology and desist from denying or minimizing the Genocide.
“I call upon my fellow priests to fight against the Genocide ideology and not to deny that it took place.”
According to Dr. Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu, a commissioner in CNLG, the new book will go a long way in telling the truth about Rwanda’s tragic past.
“This is a good foundation for other writers to start research on the Genocide; how it was planned and carried out,” he observed.
He said copies of the book will be distributed to all the schools in the country, to make sure that the young generation understands the cruelty of Genocide and ethnic politics; in order to avoid a recurrence in future.