KARONGI — Residents of Karongi maintained a vigil that ran till the wee hours of the morning starting Wednesday evening as part of the 15th Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
Not even drizzling weather could dampen the spirits of those who had gone to maintain the vigil. Thousands of men, women and children braved the chilly evening to participate in a highly emotional occasion to pay tribute to those who died at Home St.Jean within the Kibuye central Catholic Church.
This is the location where more than 11,000 victims of the Genocide have been laid to rest.
“I can recollect the events…many things. I recall one of the horrible evenings like this. I remember what happened and how others were slaughtered and how some of us escaped” said one of the survivors declining to mention his name. A friend of the survivor only identified as Claude seated next to him recounts his ordeal.
Claude recounts that he lost his seven brothers and sisters. All are buried at Home St.Jean.
“Such evenings especially this vigil points out a very difficult time in our lives,” Claude told this reporter.
The vigil now in its second year is attended by all senior public officials. In this year’s vigil the public officials presided over a ‘candlelit walk’ from the Church to Home St. Jean cemetery for prayers.