Rwanda: Genocide - Slain Politicians Honoured

The fact that there were Hutu politicians killed during the Genocide against the Tutsi should not be used as justification to promote the double genocide narrative.

This warning was sounded by Senate President Augustin Iyamuremye, on Tuesday, April 13, during the ceremony to honour politicians killed during the Genocide against the Tutsi.

Just like the previous years, the event was held at Rebero Genocide Memorial in Kicukiro District where over 14,000 Genocide victims are laid to rest, including 12 politicians.

The event also marked the official closing of the national mourning week for the 27th commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi. However, the entire commemoration period will last for 100 days until July 4.

The politicians who were remembered, many of whom were members of either the Liberal Party (PL) or Social Democratic Party (PSD), were reformists who called for peace and reconciliation, according to testimonies.

They pushed for dialogue, and condemned hate ideology that was being propagated by the regime of late President Juvenal Habyarimana.

"When we call it Genocide against the Tutsi, some people say we are neglecting people of other ethnicities who were also killed. I want to clarify that they were not killed because of their ethnicity, but instead because of their ideology that opposed the oppression of the Tutsi," said Iyamuremye.

He added: "We pay homage to these politicians, but this doesn't change the fact that it was the Genocide against the Tutsi. In 1994, there was no other plan other than to exterminate Tutsi."

Meanwhile, the Senate President also called out the international community for abandoning Rwanda during the time of need, and instead of admitting the negligence, they chose to give safe haven to Genocide fugitives.

"The world disappointed Rwanda and looked on as Tutsi were being killed. There are countries that chose to just engage in a debate on the wording of the events that were taking place in Rwanda and this hindered the rescue of those who were being killed," he said.

He added: "Surprisingly, after 27 years, these same people have refused to bring to justice genocide perpetrators residing in their countries. They are also giving the genocide against the Tutsi other names. This fuels genocide denial," he noted.

Role of politicians

According to Jean-Damascène Bizimana, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), politicians played a major role in the Genocide.

"Through many channels including media and political rallies, political leaders of the genocidal regime encouraged citizens to kill Tutsi, and got rid of any person who opposed that agenda.

This did not start in 1994. It was in the works for decades. Tutsi who had been forced into refuge were denied the right to come in their country. Those in the country were deprived of basic rights like education," Bizimana said.

Politicians killed in the Genocide include Landouard Ndasingwa aka Lando, Venantie Kabageni, Charles Kayiranga, André Kameya, Aloys Niyoyita, Augustin Rwayitare, and Jean de la Croix Rutaremara.

Others include Joseph Kavaruganda, Frederic Nzamurambaho, Félicien Ngango, Jean Baptiste Mushimiyimana, and Faustin Rucogoza.

Another politician, but who is not interred at Rebero Genocide Memorial, is Agathe Uwilingiyimana, the former Prime Minister who rests at the National Heroes' Mausoleum in Remera.

Many of the slain politicians had been designated senior positions under the Broad Based Transitional Government that had been agreed upon under the Arusha Peace Accords.

The accord was vehemently opposed to by hardliners in the regime.

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