Over 3,000 Genocide victims in Rubavu still buried in mass grave

Seventeen years after the Genocide against the Tutsi, remains of more than 3,000 victims in Gisenyi Sector, Rubavu District still remain in a pit with the tools that were used to slaughter them.
All Genocide victims should be accorded a descent burial. The New Times / File.
All Genocide victims should be accorded a descent burial. The New Times / File.

Seventeen years after the Genocide against the Tutsi, remains of more than 3,000 victims in Gisenyi Sector, Rubavu District still remain in a pit with the tools that were used to slaughter them.

The remains are buried in “red zone” a place famously known for having been a killing ground for thousands of Tutsi during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Ibuka, the umbrella body for Genocide survivors in Gisenyi Sector, blame local authorities for not being mindful of the need for a decent burial for the victims.

“The local authorities that were in place after the Genocide didn’t take this seriously, even after repeated complaints,” said Innocent Kabanda, head of Ibuka in Rubavu District.

“Local leaders were fighting the idea to construct a decent memorial for the remains of the victims since some of their relatives were in custody accused of Genocide”.

However, Ibuka thanked the current leadership for spearheading the construction of the memorial site expected to accommodate the remains.

A fundraising drive for the construction project has raised Rwf17 million, far below the total estimated cost.

The modern memorial site estimated to cost Rwf88 million will be located in the “red zone” because of the place’s historical importance.

It will be the largest in the Western Province with a capacity to accommodate over 40,000 bodies.

Although all funds are yet to be secured, construction will kick off next month, according to local authorities.

Bralirwa, the country’s main brewer for soft and alcoholic drinks, has pledged support as well as continued fundraising towards the project. 


The district and other institutions have also promised support.

alex.ngarambe@newtimes.co.rw

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