Kigali, 13 April 2017 – The official Kwibuka23 Commemoration Week (7-13 April) was concluded today with an event to honour politicians who opposed the genocidal plan and paid the ultimate price for defiance.
The event took place in Kigali at Rebero Genocide Memorial, which serves as the final resting place for over 14,000 victims of the Genocide against Tutsi and 12 politicians who were killed for standing against the genocidal government in 1994.
The politicians buried at Rebero Genocide Memorial include:
- Landouard Ndasingwa (Liberal Party)
- Charles Kayiranga (Liberal Party)
- Jean de la Croix Rutaremara (Liberal Party)
- Augustin Rwayitare (Liberal Party)
- Aloys Niyoyita (Liberal Party)
- Venantie Kabageni (Liberal Party)
- Andre Kameya (Liberal Party)
- Frederic Nzamurambaho (PSD President and Agriculture Minister)
- Felicien Ngango (PSD)
- Jean Pierre Mushimiyimana (PSD)
- Faustin Rucogoza (MDR)
The former President of the Constitutional Court, Joseph Kavaruganda, is also buried at the memorial. Former Prime Minister, Agathe Uwilingiyimana, is buried at the National Heroes Mausoleum at Remera and was also honoured today.
Special guests included Senate President Bernard Makuza, Sports and Culture Minister Julienne Uwacu, Ibuka President Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu, CNLG ES Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana, the Executive Secretary of the National Forum of Political Organisations, and the dean of the diplomatic corps.
After laying a wreath on the graves of the victims and observing a moment of silence, Senate President Bernard Makuza said that the 12 politicians were killed for choosing the righteous path.
“The politicians buried here should serve as an example to all of us as politicians. Remembering them reminds us that above anything else, politicians should endeavour to improve citizens’ wellbeing. Bad leadership generates bad results, whereas good leadership brings people together to achieve positive results,” Senate President Makuza said.
The Senate Speaker reminded politicians and other guests convened at Rebero that the 1994 Genocide was no accident.
“The truth is that the Genocide was no accident. It was not a natural disaster. The history of divisionism goes way back to the colonial era when Rwandans were divided into unfounded ethnic groups,” He said.
He further reiterated that politicians should always bear in mind that it is their responsibility to cement the current constructive politics that the country enjoys.
Families and friends of the politicians killed in the Genocide also laid wreaths on the graves of their loved ones.
Although the national Mourning Week concludes today, Kwibuka23 activities will continue until 4 July 2017 – the date Rwanda was liberated from the genocidal regime by then Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA).
In 1994, Rebero served as a refugee for those who had survived the killings at Nyanza-Kicukiro. This was after the RPA troops had captured the strategic hill of Rebero in order to fight genocidal forces. The survivors were relocated after a few days due to intense fighting in the area.