Rwanda: Over 97,000 Genocide Victims at Nyanza Memorial Honoured

Over 97,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi buried at Nyanza Genocide Memorial in Kicukiro were on Sunday, April 11 commemorated as part of 27th commemoration of genocide against the Tutsi.

The remains were exhumed from different areas of the City of Kigali and its peripheries and relocated for burial at the memorial.

Among these victims, over 2,500 were killed by Interahamwe-militia after they were abandoned by UN peacekeepers.

Over 97,000 genocide victims were remembered at Nyanza genocide memorial on April 11 as part of 27th commemoration of 1994 genocide against the Tutsi

They had sought refuge at the former ETO-Kicukiro (currently IPRC-Kigali), which was protected by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR), until the Belgian contingent left the country, leaving them at the mercy of the Interahamwe militia.

Pudence Rubingisa, the city mayor urged Rwandans and particularly the youth to visit the memorial so as to learn genocide history and strive to ensure it never happens again.

"By visiting memorial sites, those who deny genocide will be defeated because there are facts. We urge the youth to learn from this memorial site and confront genocide deniers," he said.

Speciose Mukayiranga, the Representative of genocide survivors whose relatives are buried at the Nyanza site called on all those who survived in this area to stand together and strive for resilience.

"We survived against all odds. This commemoration day is a great day for survivors that makes us resilient. We thank our government and President Kagame for giving us dignity. We thank Inkotanyi for liberating the country. It brings shame to genocide perpetrators," she said.

Egide Nkuranga, the President of Ibuka, umbrella body of associations that support genocide survivors, said that they are expanding the grave at the memorial site to accommodate more remains in case more victims are discovered from different areas where they were dumped.

Speciose Mukayiranga, the genocide survivor whose relatives are buried at Nyanza Memorial site called on all those who survived on the hill to stand together and strive for resilience

"As years pass it happens that people disclose where genocide victims were dumped. We therefore need to expand the graves to accommodate them for decent burial. There is also a garden of memory that is adjacent to this Nyanza memorial site so that people can visit both at the same time and understand genocide history on this hill," he added.

He called upon genocide survivors to strive for resilience and Rwandans in general to be close to them and help them cope with trauma.

"There are genocide survivors who are still suffering from trauma. We have to remain close to them and help them access medical experts," he said.

Call for crackdown on genocide denial

Nkuranga said that considering that there are still people who engage in denying and denigrating 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi especially during commemoration, a crackdown on such should also be intensified.

"There should not be complacency, rather we should intensify the fight," he said.

He commended different institutions including security organs that are playing their role in pursuing genocide deniers.

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