00:00:00 IGIHE NETWORK KINYARWANDA ENGLISH FRANCAIS

Over 4000 slain Tutsi abandoned by UN troops at ETO-Kicukiro commemorated

By IGIHE
On 13 April 2021 at 07:12

Over 4000 victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi that were killed after UN troops abandoned them at former technical school, Ecole Technique Officielle de Kicukiro (ETO) have been commemorated.

The ceremony to remember these victims took place on Sunday at Nyanza Genocide Memorial observing COVID-19 preventive measures with few representatives of different groups.

Some mourners who spoke to IGIHE said that visiting memorials is a way to honor genocide victims.

The mayor of Kigali City, Rubingisa Prudence said that Rwanda is commemorating for the 27th time during Coronavirus pandemic but observed that honoring genocide victims should not be disregarded.

“I would like to comfort those who could not attend this ceremony because we are commemorating during unusual times preventing the spread of COVID-19. We have represented others so that we can lay wreaths, pay tribute to victims and remember Genocide against Tutsi,” he said.

Rubingisa reminded the youth to make a step forward to learn Rwanda’s history to be able to resist people denying and trivializing the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

“We still experience cases of Genocide ideology and trivialization but we won’t remain silent. We encourage the youth to visit memorials, learn history, to witness how victims were brutally killed. They should learn this truth so that they can resist people denying and misinterpreting history,” he noted.

The President of Ibuka in Kigali City, Egide Nkuranga called for intensified efforts to resist people who continue to fuel genocide ideology especially during commemoration period.

The President of Ibuka in Kigali City, Egide Nkuranga called for intensified efforts to resist people who continue to fuel genocide ideology especially during commemoration period.

“It has been 27 years since Genocide against Tutsi was stopped but we still have people denying and trivializing the Genocide especially during commemoration period. This means, there are some people with persistent and destructive ideologies and others intending to exterminate surviving Tutsi,” he said.

“It should be everyone’s responsibility to resist genocide deniers,” added Nkuranga.

Mukayiranga Spéciose, who represented families with relatives laid at Nyanza memorial in Kicukiro said that honoring victims soothes their hearts.

“We were hopeless during Genocide but we feel relieved when we visit this place. It makes us happy and soothes our hearts when we come to this place where relatives are laid to rest,” she noted.

Mukayiranga thanked the Government of Rwanda for having built memorials that helps them to remember fallen relatives.

Rwanda is commemorating for the 27th time under the them ‘ Rember-Unite-Renew’.

Nyanza-Kicukiro is distinctly known as one of the places where thousands of people were massacred a few days after the beginning of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

When the genocide began on April 7, over 3000 Tutsi from Kicukiro sought refuge at a former technical school, Ecole Technique Officielle de Kicukiro (ETO), in the belief that they would be protected by the United Nations peacekeeping forces for Rwanda (MINUAR) that was based there.

MINUAR would however desert them a few days later, despite the tension that had built up as the Interahamwe militia and government soldiers had surrounded the school.

Following the departure of the UN troops, government soldiers and Interahamwe took control of ETO Kicukiro.

In the school, Tutsi were taken by government soldiers and Interahamwe to Sonatube to be murdered there but the then mayor of the city, Lt. Col. Tharcisse Renzaho, ordered that they instead be taken to Nyanza and killed from there because Sonatube was too visible along the road to the airport.

The Tutsi were then forced to march back, all the way to Nyanza, amid a heavy downpour. Many had not eaten for a couple of days. Those too weak to walk were killed on the way. When they arrived at Nyanza, the militia asked them to present their IDs to ensure that no Hutu were among the group.

Mass killings then began and many of them were killed using machetes. The next morning, as the killers attempted to finish off those who were still alive, the Rwandan Patriotic Army soldiers arrived and rescued the few who had survived the massacre.

These abandoned Tutsi were killed on 11th April 1994.

The ceremony to remember these victims killed after they were abandoned by UN troops took place on Sunday at Nyanza Genocide Memorial observing COVID-19 preventive measures.

Advertisement

YOUR OPINION ABOUT THIS ARTICLE

RULES AND REGULATIONS
Kwamamaza