Genocide victims reburied 20 years later

The remains of Genocide victims were over the weekend reburied in various memorial centres in Gatsibo and Kayonza districts, Eastern Province.

The remains of Genocide victims were over the weekend reburied in various memorial centres in Gatsibo and Kayonza districts, Eastern Province.

In Mukarange Sector, the remains of 30 people recently exhumed were reburied after a requiem mass at Mukarange Catholic Parish.

All together, more than 9,000 victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi are buried at Mukarange Parish.

The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Oda Gasinzigwa, who was in attendance, said it was important to accord them a decent burial in honour of their memories.

“Remembrance affects some people but it is essential for the healing process and to build a brighter future for our country,” she added.

“I call upon everyone to work towards shaping the minds of Rwandans…parents, especially, must nurture their children well. If communities had taught children morals, instead of instilling in them the Genocide ideology, we wouldn’t be grieving today,” she said.

One of the survivors, Claudette Mukamana, said it was difficult to forget the brutality with which the Tutsi were killed. She recalled how victims were tricked by the clergy to seek refuge in churches only to unleash the killer militias on them.

Ignace Munyabuhoro, coordinator of Ibuka, the survivors’ umbrella body, said that one of the main challenges in providing a decent burial to Genocide victims was the refusal by some people to provide necessary information.

“We need precise information, unfortunately those who know where the remains are, have kept quiet,” he lamented. Meanwhile, the remains of other 41 victims were also reburied at Kiziguro Genocide Memorial site in Gatsibo District. All together, about 14,000 people are buried at the site, a killing base of the notorious former Mayor of Murambi Commune, Jean Baptiste Gatete.

He is serving a 40-year sentence after he was convicted by the Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

Thousands of mourners from all walks of life, survivors and local leaders converged at Kiziguro cemetery to lay wreaths on the mass graves. The burial ceremony was preceded by a Friday night vigil held at Kiziguro Parish.

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