Commemoration is an opportunity to remember and pay respect to our beloved ones killed during the Genocide against the Tutsi, Makuza
As Rwandans, commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi is an opportunity to remember and pay respect to the beloved killed during the Genocide and ensure that it never happens again neither in Rwanda nor elsewhere. The remarks were given by Bernard Makuza, president of the Senate of Rwanda in a remembrance ceremony held at Nyange genocide memorial in Ngororero district for the 23rd commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
He said “today’s event, and the 100 days of commemoration in general as we set it as Rwandans, is a particular occasion to pay respect to our relatives, friends and knowns killed during the Genocide against the Tutsi. We have gathered here to remember and pay respect to the victims of the genocide against the Tutsi. They were mercilessly treated and killed with extreme wickedness. We remember and pay them their deserved”.
Dr Jean-Damascène Bizimana, Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) recalled the evilness used to kill the Tutsi of Nyange and its surroundings before and during the Genocide he explained that the killings of the Tutsi in the former Ngororero sub prefecture started before the Genocide. He said that the killings started in 1990 after RPF launched the liberation war where the Tutsi were killed and allegedly considered liable of any attempt to the security for the to justify the killings.
He pointed on the devised reports that were published by the genocidal regime arguing that the Tutsi had the plan to exterminate the Hutu. He quoted a meeting of October 1994’s 20 minutes that had Léon Mugesera, Pierre Tegera and Innocent Teganya, president of MRND in the commune of Kibilira as participants , where sub prefect Bernard Niyitegeka brought two dead bodies saying that those bodies were for the Hutu that had been killed by Tutsi, then after an order to kill the Tutsi was given.
Dr Bizimana said that people cannot align with the good governance while upholding the genocide ideology, requesting the people of Ngororero to distant themselves with their relatives who still nurture the genocide ideology including General Sylvestre Mudacumura, the commandant of FDLR who is a native of Ngororero.
In his testimony, Aloys Rwamasirabo,who survived the Genocide in Nyange recalled important dates on which the Tutsi of Nyange were slaughtered including 17th April 1994 when Father Athanase Seromba who was the priest of Nyange catholic parish ordered a driver called Anastase to to demolish the church of Nyange using a bulldozer. The aim was to dismantle it over thousands of Tutsi who were inside. The bulldozer was also used to load the dead bodies in trucks that transported them to the mass grave that had been dug near the church.
He recounted that on Sunday 24th April 1994, father Seromba summoned the believers whereas there was no mass. He instead wanted to inform them that they had deprived themselves of the enemy. He said that prefect Clement Kayishema had ordered that people come out of their hideouts, he actually wanted the Tutsi to be killed. He thanked the troops that rescued them from the killers.
During the ceremony bodies of 242 Tutsi victims of the Genocide were laid to rest at Nyange Genocide Memorial after their families could not trace them for 23 years.
About Nyange Genocide Memorial
The Nyange Genocide Memorial was created on 16th April 1996 and is located in what used to be the Catholic Church of Nyange, where almost 2,000 people were killed after they had come to seek refuge during the Genocide. In fact, those victims had been lured to the church by Father Athanase Seromba, who is serving his life sentence at Akpro-Missérété prison at Porto-Novo, Benin.
It has recently been upgraded to national level.
The particularity of Nyange Genocide memorial in Ngororero District is that Tutsi fled to the Catholic Church and tried to resist the attacks. And when it was realized that it was not easy to reach them, Father Athanase Seromba, the Vicar, ordered Interahamwe militia to raze the church (with a bulldozer) which collapsed on the refugees.