KIGALI - Genocide survivors through their umbrella body, IBUKA, have reacted angrily to the Thursday night incident at Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre.
A grenade was hurled at the security quarters of the Gisozi based centre Thursday night, killing a police constable and seriously wounding another.
“We have always expressed our concerns over the spreading genocide ideology in the country especially propagated by some suspects who were released from prison,” IBUKA president Théodore Simburudari said yesterday. He said these kinds of acts are aimed at sabotaging the national mourning week.
“The fact that this place (the memorial centre) was targeted was also an effort to discourage foreigners who visit the country to see what happened during the Genocide,” Simburudari added. He said that measures should be devised to monitor the movements of some of the freed suspects.
“Much as we accept government efforts of promoting unity and reconciliation and the freedom of movement, some of these people should have their movements monitored.” He also rapped at international media houses that give forums to recognized genocide apologists.
“These people who are given time on international radios play a significant role in boosting the morale of those in the country, and this culminates into incidents like these,” he said.
He however added that this should not discourage Rwandans in general and survivors in particular in their efforts to remember their loved ones who perished during the Genocide.
The incident coincides with the week when Rwandans mourn victims of the 1994 Genocide in which over one million Rwandans lost their lives.
The Executive Secretary of IBUKA, Benoit Kaboyi, said punishments for such crimes should be reviewed to set precedence.
“Another solution has to be sought in terms of stopping such acts because there seems to be no change with the current penalties in place…the genocide ideology has become like a chronic disease among some Rwandans,” Kaboyi said over the phone Friday.
François Ngarambe, the immediate former President of IBUKA said it was too early to give a comment on the incident.
“It is too early to give a consistent opinion. Despite the theories that have been put forward on the facts surrounding the incident, including the fact that the attack might have been perpetrated by those whose intention is to hurt survivors,” said Ngarambe, who is also an IBUKA board member.
The Executive Secretary of the newly-established commission against genocide, Jean de Dieu Mucyo, called for vigilance by security personnel to avoid incidents like that.
“It is absurd that the incident took place at a place we respect like the site…there should be more vigilance on security, not only at this place, but in other memorial sites countrywide as well. This is where our loved ones were laid to rest,” said Mucyo.
The remains of an estimated 300,000 victims of the Genocide are buried at Gisozi, the largest Genocide memorial site in the country.