BUGESERA — The government has chosen Bugesera District to host this year’s national commemoration of the 1994 Genocide, the Mayor Gaspard Musonera has said.
Musonera told reporters on Tuesday that the ceremony will be held at Nyamata memorial site.
He explained that the district had requested it through the Eastern province authorities.
"We are happy that our request was granted and we do appreciate the government’s decision to commemorate this year’s commemoration in our district," Musonera said.
According to sources, President Paul Kagame is expected to officiate at the function. It will be marked under the theme "Let us reflect on the Genocide, fight Genocide ideologies and help Genocide survivors hence focusing on economic development."
Musonera told reporters that Bugesera had a dark past that was full of bloodshed which claimed hundreds of thousand of people in the events before the Genocide.
He noted that before the 100 horrific days of massacres, Bugesera had already experienced the worst and most consistent massacres before in 1959, 1962, 1972 and 1992.
He said the former commune of Kanzenze lost over 62,000[more than half of its population] in 1994 Genocide, thus becoming the hardest hit district in the whole country.
The Mayor narrated that the decades before the genocide, Tutsis from other regions of the country had been forcefully transferred to Bugesera. He explained that the district was then ‘afforested and mosquito-ridden swampy area’ which the past regimes considered a dumping ground where the Tutsi would die of natural calamities and hunger.
He said he was optimistic that holding the event in Bugesera would foster unity and reconciliation between the Genocide survivors and perpetrators.
However, Musonera added that despite the district being the ‘epicentre’ of the 1994 Genocide; local leaders had embarked on a good road to recovery.
He cited the building of over 1,400 houses for genocide survivors, improving the level of education, building health centres, getting involved in different agricultural activities and environmental protection,