Rwandan students based in the Diaspora yesterday paid tribute to victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis in Bugesera district.
During the emotional event of visiting mass graves at the main Genocide memorial site in Nyamata, some of the young men and women who are students in different countries, could not hold back tears at the sight of the remains.
Lynette Umutoni, a student from Uganda was visibly saddened by the events that transpired during the horrible mass murder in which close to a million innocent Tutsis and some moderate Hutus lost their lives.
“That is why we the young people should spearhead the struggle to avoid a repeat of what happened to our country,” Umutoni urged fellow youths amidst much emotional sobbing.
She emphasized that the divisionism that was instilled in Rwandans a long time ago should be curbed if the country’s future is to be brighter.
The two memorial sites visited were former catholic churches where Christians had ignorantly gathered in search of refuge only to be given away to the killers by church leaders.
Beside the mass graves where thousands of victims are laid to rest, lies the grave of Tonia Locatelli, an Italian woman who was also killed on March 9 1992 when the first killings began.
She had given shelter to fleeing Tutsi refugees from Bugesera and alerted the world media of the killings that is regarded as a prelude to the Genocide.
“She is also considered a victim of the genocide because of the reasons for which she was killed,” Gaspard Musonera, the Mayor of Bugesera District explained.
He called upon the students to play a significant role in fighting the Genocide ideology especially by uprooting it where it is still rampant, both within and outside the country.
“It is with such a collective responsibility that we seek to stop the effects of the genocide and completely uproot its ideology,” he added.
At this memorial site lie the remains of over 40,000 victims some of whom were burnt as they sought refuge in the churches.
Bugesera is one of the areas in the country where the Genocide started earlier than 1994.