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16.04.2017 22:31 Age: 124 days

Speaker of lower chamber urges on providing information about where bodies of genocide victims were thrown so that they can be decently buried

The speaker of the chamber of deputies in the parliament of Rwanda, Hon. Donatille Mukabalisa made the call on Sunday 16th April during a commemoration event to remember and pay respect to over 5000 victims of the genocide laid to rest in Ntarama memorial in Bugesera district.

The speaker was escorted by different high ranking officials in this event to team up with the community of Ntarama to commemorate the Genocide against the Tutsi and send off 149 coffins containing bodies of the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

In her testimony, Umwanankabandi Mathilde who survived the Genocide in Ntarama, recalled the agony endured by the Tutsi of Ntarama during the Genocide. She said that the Tutsi of Ntarama had tried to defend themselves using stones. Girls and women used to collect stones and bring them to men so that they use the stones to repel attacks of Interahamwe. The resistance did not last for long as, she like other Tutsi of Ntarama fled to the church of Ntarama where Interahamwe killed them with extreme ferocity.  

She said that Interahamwe used to cut open the wombs of pregnant women saying that they wanted to see how an unborn baby Tutsi looks like and smashing toddlers against the walls saying they didn’t want to waste their bullets. After killing them, Interahamwe spread capsicum over the dead bodies to check if there could be some who were still alive and hack them to death. 

Umwanankabandi  said that she, with a few of her colleagues tried to flee to Burundi but in vain as the one who knew the way to take them there was killed on the way, which led them to come back to Ntarama. She said that they were later saved by RPF troops led by Lt Gen Fred Ibingira.   

The speaker of the lower who was the chief guest, said that offering a decent burial to the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi help the survivors to endure with the loss of their relatives. She urged those who know where bodies of the victims were thrown to provide information on the whereabouts so that they can be sent off decently. She comforted those who lost their relatives in the Genocide against the Tutsi.

In his address ,Dr Jean Damascène Bizimana, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) explained that the Genocide against the Tutsi had been planned and tried in Bugesera and Kanzenze in particular for several times before it was generally executed in 1994. 

The event was concurred with a sendoff ceremony for 149 coffins of bodies of the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi. The coffins have been in the former church turned into a memorial for several years.

 This year, the Genocide against the Tutsi is commemorated under the theme “Remember the Genocide against the Tutsi- Fight against Genocide ideology- Build on our progress”.