For Mibilizi survivors, the candles of hope will never be extinguished

The commitment of Rwandans to improve their living conditions coupled with the country’s  successful journey over the past two decades are an indication that the lives of Rwandans will continue to improve, Genocide survivors in Mibilizi have said.
A wreath is laid in honour of Genocide victims buried at Mibilizi. JP Bucyensenge.
A wreath is laid in honour of Genocide victims buried at Mibilizi. JP Bucyensenge.

The commitment of Rwandans to improve their living conditions coupled with the country’s  successful journey over the past two decades are an indication that the lives of Rwandans will continue to improve, Genocide survivors in Mibilizi have said.

They were speaking at a ceremony to remember and honour the thousands of people who were killed in the area during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The Wednesday ceremony, held at Mibirizi Church in Gashonga Sector of the south-western district of Rusizi, attracted hundreds of mourners who included survivors and public officials.

At the event, remains of nine Genocide victims were buried at Mibilizi memorial site after a requiem mass in their honour. More than 8,000 victims are buried there.

Jean Karuga, a survivor, said the occasion was a moment to pay respect to those who were murdered for no reason and also “thank God for helping us survive and those who risked their lives to save Tutsi.”

Karuga said Genocide is an indication of how evil human beings can be when there is no love between them.

He also thanked the government for advancing policies that promote unity and oneness among Rwandans.

“I believe Rwanda will remain on the right path,” he said. “We should all continue to strive for better living conditions because we have a strong foundation upon which we can go on and achieve more.”

“Let us also change our mindset, continue to work hard and move together towards uplifting our lives,” he added.

Jean Pierre Bizimana, another survivor, said the past 20 years have been crucial in the transformation of their lives.

He told The New Times that survivors have made use of the prevailing favourable environment to dedicate their efforts and skills in transforming their lives.

“At least, everyone has made a step toward better conditions,” Bizimana said. “You can even see the smiling faces, which are a testimony that things are rolling well.”

Bizimana said the transformational journey was possible partly because survivors came to terms with their tragic past and took their destiny in their own hands.

“We are no longer those individuals who had lost hope after the Genocide. We now know the future holds the best for all of us,” he added, urging fellow survivors to keep striving to better their livelihood.

“When you have a lot of problems, you work harder to move out of them. Genocide survivors were left with unbearable challenges that require a lot of efforts, but let’s continue to be brave,” he advised.

Speaking at the event, Rusizi mayor Oscar Nzeyimana called on mourners to safeguard the attained unity and uphold Rwandan values to ensure that the country’s achievements propel the country to further development.

“Our pledge to the ‘Never Again’ cause should be portrayed through our daily actions and lives,” the mayor said.

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