KARONGI- Thousands of mourners, including top government officials, Tuesday assembled at the Bisesero memorial centre to pay tribute to the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Bisesero is home to remains of over 60,000 victims who are renowned for their bravery in resisting attacks using rudimentary weapons.
Shortly after laying wreaths at the mass graves, Denis Polisi, the Vice Speaker of Parliament, condemned the killings.
“It is unfortunate that Rwandans were fooled to kill each other. The country lost a very important part of the population that would have contributed to both social and economic development,” he said.
Polisi challenged the public to draw lessons from the endurance and resilience exhibited by the people of Bisesero and help survivors lead better lives.
He urged parents to explain the whole truth about the Genocide to younger generations so as to ensure that it never happens again.
Bernard Kayumba, the Mayor of Karongi District, who is also a Bisesero survivor said it was important to continue promoting unity and reconciliation.
“As we remember the innocent lives that perished during 1994, one of our priorities is to support the survivors,” he said.
Kayumba noted that 17 years after the Genocide, it is evident that the survivors in Bisesero, now lead better lives.
Eric Nzabihimana, 46, recalled how he narrowly escaped death but lost many of his friends and relatives during the attacks.
“At one time, I almost committed suicide by drowning myself in Lake Kivu due to the pain and suffering that I was going through,” he narrated.