CNLG want Genocide victims’ documentation
Thousands of people yesterday braved the scotching sun at Kigali Memorial Centre to pay their last respect to Genocide victims massacred in Kicukiro District during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Tears flowed and many suffered emotional breakdowns as the caskets containing remains of 183 people exhumed from different places in the 10 Sectors of Kicukiro District were lowered into the mass grave.
Funeral hymns were sung as the coffins were lowered in, one by one, relatives watched and some cried uncontrollably as the memories of how brutally their loved ones were murdered were rekindled.
Stories about how these innocent souls were killed in at the infamous ETO Kicukiro, Nyanza and Gahanga were told and the sombre crowd, mainly residents of Kicukiro who trekked all the way, could not hold onto their tears.
Standby emergency crews attended to those who broke down and ambulances would be seen drifting in and out of the fully packed memorial centre.
Of the 183, 43 were from Masaka Sector killed on the April 9, 1994 and were all members of two families which were wiped out completely, 13 from Kanombe Sector including one Dativa, Karemera’s wife who was killed after witnessing her one-week old baby smashed on the wall.
Another casket also contained remains of a woman and her two young children she was killed with.
13 bodies were from Gatenga, 22 from Kagarama while 49 were from Nyarugunga Sector, where President Habyarimana lived at the time. Tales of how some the bodies were picked from the gardens on the fateful day the killings began were also told.
Over 3000 people were killed in that sector with 2,500 buried at Nyandungu.
The Executive Secretary of the National Commission to fight Against Genocide (CNLG), Jean de Dieu Mucyo, urged institutions and Rwandans to make efforts to write and keep records of the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
He said that it is very important to keep memorabilia of the departed, and the only way to make this a reality is not only to know this history, but also to have it written to benefit the future generation.
“Sooner or later we will be gone, so how will our children know what happened if we don’t write it?” he questioned.
Mucyo commended institutions that have already come up with their special ways of remembering their staff members lost during the Genocide, citing the European Union, the American Embassy and National Office of Information (ORINFOR).
“This will help us also overcome the challenge of those who deny the reality of Genocide,” he said.
“Even those who come from abroad will be able to see the proof of history, otherwise we might forget.”
He also pointed out that the mourning period is a time to get together and make good decisions for a better future, insisting that Rwandans are the only ones who will make this happen without waiting for anyone else.
Mucyo was also empathetic to people whose family members were given decent burial, and asked them to be strong and aim for the country’s reconstruction which gives them hope for the better future.
Genocide survivors whose family members were buried on Friday extended their gratitude to the government of Rwanda for having accorded them time to remember the departed and a decent place to bury them.
Bartholomew Rwamanzi, an old man who spoke on the families’ behalf mentioned that those who know where the departed are buried should reveal the whereabouts to help in exhuming their remains and accord them a decent rest.
The President of the Supreme Court, Aloysie Cyanzaire and the Mayor of Kicukiro, Paul Jules Ndamage, were among the officials who attended.