KAMONYI – The Governor of the Southern Province, Fidel Ndayisaba, has urged Kamonyi residents to volunteer information on the role of Burundians in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi which occurred at Mugina Catholic Church.
He was speaking at a reburial ceremony of remains of 330 Genocide victims over the weekend at Mugina Memorial site, in Mukingo Sector.
His remarks were prompted by testimonies given by a survivor Marcel Rutagara, who said that the killings at Mugina were undertaken by Cyeru residents and some Burundian refugees.
Rutagara called for a special committee to gather concrete information on how the killings were conducted.
Ndayisaba, also warned residents against genocide ideology, stressing that all Genocide perpetrators will be brought to book.
Remains of over 30,000 have been laid to rest at the site since last year.
The reburial ceremony was preceded by a requiem mass led by Bishop Smargade Mbonyintege, of Kabgayi Diocese, before mourners laid wreaths at the memorial site.
Survivors told The New Times that most of the victims buried at Mugina had taken refuge at the Mugina Catholic Church after fleeing from Kigali.
They were brutally murdered. Later on the survivors further added that the victims’ bodies were burnt to ashes and other bodies dumped in shallow graves near the Mugina Catholic parish.
Survivors deplored the state of Mugina Memorial site, saying it needs to be upgraded.
Abedi Aziz Mwiseneza, the IBUKA officials at the ceremony, urged religious leaders to take the lead in the reconstruction of the site.
He suggested that Church leaders should surrender Mugina Catholic Church premises to those affected by the Mugina incidence for the purposes of keeping alive the testimonies of survivors.
Calling for protection and support of survivors, the IBUKA official urged the district authorities to speed up work on the memorial site and have archives and testimonies of survivors kept in the planned facility.
“This day is a memorable one for us as we have witnessed our beloved ones being laid to rest in a decent manner for the first time in 15 years. Our hearts had been restless until the souls of the departed victims are accorded the respect they deserve,” Bertilda Mukansamaza a survivor remarked.
Through songs and poems survivors reaffirmed their commitment to live a bright future. They also vowed to help each other through the struggles of life after the Genocide.
They lashed out at the Catholic Church religious leaders who face serious allegations of having cooperated with the Interahamwe militia in the killing around Church premises in Mugina and Kabgayi.