Remains of over 15,000 victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi were yesterday given a decent burial at a new memorial near Gatwaro Stadium in Karongi District.
Most of the victims were killed from the Gatwaro Stadium in Karongi town.
The remains were previously buried in mass graves which were deemed inappropriate.
After being gathered in the stadium following a long tiring journey (of up to 20 kilometres) many had made, the Tutsi were first starved, water pipes were cut to block supply before they were killed, according to survivor accounts.
The atrocities at this stadium were ordered by Clement Kayishema, the former prefect of what was then known as Kibuye Prefecture.
Issac Habarugira, representative of Genocide survivors in Karongi District, said that; “We were previously anguished by the fact that our parents and relatives killed during the Genocide were not buried decently. We are happy that they are interred in a place where we will be paying homage to them on a regular basis,” he said.
On April 18, 1994, the killing against Tutsi was launched by Kayishema, which he did by publicly executing one Ezechiel Munyakaragwe.
Kayishema was tried and convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, a UN court, and died in 2016 from a prison in Mali, where he was serving life sentence.
Despite this, however, survivors have voiced concern that some of those who took part in the Genocide against Tutsi at the stadium have not yet been tried for their crimes, and they are haboured by foreign countries.
Such Genocide fugitives, they said, include Dr Charles Twagira and Claude Muhayimana who live in France.
They also cited Ignace Bagilishema who was Bourgmestre (Mayor) of Mabanza Commune and is accused of playing a key role in bringing people together to the Gatwaro Stadium where they would be killed.
Bagilishema was acquitted by the same UN tribunal and now lives in France.
Speaking at the event, Johnston Busingye, the Minister for Justice and Attorney General, said that it is always good to give a dignifying burial to victims of the world’s most horrible crime, which claimed lives of over a million people in just 100 days.
He commended President Paul Kagame who led Rwanda Patriotic Front’s army that stopped the Genocide and managed to restore unity and harmony among Rwandans, as well as set the country on a development path.
“Those who perpetrated the Genocide were defeated. We are convinced that their bad acts will never reoccur. We should not allow any genocide ideology,” he said.