Education ministry unveils Genocide centre for ex-staff

The Minister of Education, Dr Vincent Biruta, on Tuesday, unveiled a memorial monument for the ministry’s staff, who were killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Minister Biruta lays a wreath at the newly-unveiled monument erected in memory of staff who died during the Genocide against the Tutsi. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira.
Minister Biruta lays a wreath at the newly-unveiled monument erected in memory of staff who died during the Genocide against the Tutsi. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira.

The Minister of Education, Dr Vincent Biruta, on Tuesday, unveiled a memorial monument for the ministry’s staff, who were killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

During the Genocide, about 64 staff of the ministry, including teachers and support staff, were brutally killed by the interahamwe militia.

 

The interface of the memorial monument, which faces in the ministry’s building entrance, bears names of the victims, while the second part has a ‘Never Again’ logo and this year’s commemoration theme. Inside the memorial, there is a photo gallery with pictures of those killed in the Genocide.

 

In his message, Dr Biruta said the commemoration period should be one that brings sustainable co-existence among the ministry employees as well as the relatives of the deceased.

 

“We have started a Masters Degree in Genocide Studies at National University of Rwanda with a purpose of ensuring that our history is well-documented and not distorted,” he said.

A representative of the survivors’ families, Eric Mushimire, said the initiative of putting up a monument is a sign of support to the survivors.

“People who were sentenced to 10 to 15 years are now being released. I advise survivors to try and live with these people, but be ready that some will come with a negative attitude. Stand firm,” said Mushimire.

This is the third time the ministry was commemorating the victims, according to Sharon Haba, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education.

“This is not the final list, we call upon anyone out there who has information about former employees of the ministry to come to us and we add them on this list,” said Haba. 

The vice president of Ibuka, an organisation that takes care of survivors, Egide Nkuranga, appealed to other institutions to emulate what the ministry of education has done as a way of preserving the country’s history.

During the event, several speakers talked about the history of the Genocide against the Tutsi. Former Senator Antoine Mugesera gave a detailed presentation on discrimination cases in Rwanda from the early 1950s until the Genocide in 1994.

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