Rwanda won’t be deterred by Genocide deniers — Makuza

SOUTHERN PROVINCE HUYE — Rwandans should not be distracted by the acts of those who negate the 1994 Genocide, Prime Minister, Bernard Makuza has advised.


HUYE — Rwandans should not be distracted by the acts of those who negate the 1994 Genocide, Prime Minister, Bernard Makuza has advised.

Speaking on Saturday during the burial of the remains of 943 Genocide victims in Kigoma Sector, Huye district, Makuza also observed that recently some foreigners had sought to disrupt activities meant to remember the victims of the Genocide.

Makuza said that it was a Rwandan culture to accord decent burials to the dead.

"It is also our culture to mourn and remember those who have been dear to us. The magnitude of the 1994 Genocide rendered all these cultural values obsolete, but today we are returning this lost dignity to our dead," Makuza said.

He added that the problem should not be remembering the dead or burying their remains, but Rwandans should be asking themselves the causes of mourning and burials.

"People questioning the essence of the mourning period should be reminded that they are the reason such a period is commemorated," said Makuza.

The remains of Genocide victims in Kigoma Sector were reburied in a newly constructed memorial site at the Sector headquarters.

The burial ceremony was attended by among others, the Commander of the RDF 4th division Brig. Gen. Mubarak Muganga, the Regional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Faustin Nirushwa and the Bishop of Gikongoro Catholic Diocese, Monsignor Augustine Misago.

The Prime Minister explained that historical facts indicate that Rwandans are from the same ancestry-Gihanga and that those against this theory are the ones who propagate ethnic divisionism.

"Ethnic division led to the killing of Rwandans in the most brutal ways. There was destruction of life and the dead were left to rot. This is what we have to change. This is why we mourn and bury the remains of the dead. When we do this, we seek to restore the dignity they were denied," said the Prime Minister.

Reacting to a testimony by Marie Rose Umwezi, a Genocide survivor who has since finished secondary school, the Prime Minister commended her fighting spirit and never having given up.

He pointed that the courage she exhibited when she managed to crawl out of a pit latrine where she had been thrown and left for dead, and go on and complete her secondary education should inspire all Rwandans.

Makuza stressed that every citizen should get involved in helping vulnerable Genocide survivors in their communities.

Fidele Ndayisaba, the Provincial Governor challenged residents of Kigoma to reflect on the events that transpired during the 1994 genocide and draw lessons from it.

He questioned Kigoma residents what they gained out of killing their neighbours, children and spouses.

"What did the killers gain and what would they have lost if they had not killed them," asked Gov. Ndayisaba.

Edward Kabalega, the district representative of Genocide Survivors, commended the then Rwanda Patriotic Army, now RDF, for stopping the Genocide.

He hailed the government’s efforts in solving the many problems faced by Genocide survivors.

The official mourning week ended yesterday (Sunday) although other remembrance activities will continue until end of July.


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