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Runda-Kamonyi: Nyabarongo River will no longer be the only memorial site of genocide

Mayor-of-Kamonyi-District, Kayitesi Alice aying flowers on Nyabarongo River as commemoration of Genocide victims from Rundasector

While in various parts of the country ,Rwandans in general, and genocide survivors in particular gather in front of a memorial designed for this purpose, Kamonyi citizens from Runda Sector gather on the banks of Nyabarongo River where their relatives were killed and swayed in the water.

Besides the current Nyabarongo river site that was the only genocide commemoration area of Runda’s citizens, the idea of ​​building a wall bearing the names of the victims will soon be transposed into reality.

On April 15, 2018, a commemorative march  in  Runda sector began at the place of its office  which was then office of the Runda Commune in 1994, and was enhanced by the presence of the inhabitants of the Runda Sector, its citizens living elsewhere, different political figures as well as various other partners and friends of Runda.

Dushime Eric, a Genocide survivor from Runda, Ruyenzi cell, Rugazi Village told The Partner magazine that “commemorating the victims of Runda Sector Genocide on April 15 is not a coincidence, but that is the date when the atrocities of the genocide perpetrated against Tutsis in 1994  culminated in this environment resulting in the death of several Tutsis who were at the same time thrown into the Nyabarongo River “.

According to Dushime, “It was on April 15, 1994 that, frightened by the scale of the massacres of Tutsis, Tutsis from Ruyenzi and Gihara areas  took refuge at the catholic parish of Gihara believing to find a salute, but unfortunately the “interahamwe” criminals and ex-FARs joined them and took many of them into vehicles to dump them over the Nyabarongo River bridge on the road to Kigali.”

He added that those who had taken refuge at Ruyenzi Primary School were killed and thrown into the Nyabarongo River at the site known as Cyoganyoni where people gather on the 7th of April every year, date of the beginning of the genocide, while on April 15, they go to the Nyabarongo bridge on the road to Kigali, a site known as Ruliba, referring to a brick and tile factory nearby.

A wall bearing the names of genocide victims from Runda will be built on the banks of the Nyabarongo River

During the Genocide commemoration week at the national level, while Mayor of  Kamonyi  District , Alice Kayitesi, came to hold a debate with the population of the Rugazi and Rubumba villages, the question of building a monument bearing the names of genocide victims from Runda and thrown into Nyabarongo was mentioned.

A wall on the model of that of the Kigali memorial center will be built near Nyabarongo River -File

Kayitesi then promised to speed up the dealings that had previously been made between Runda’s population, sector and district authorities to reach a consensus and raise the necessary funds for the construction.

The President of Ibuka in the Runda sector, Innocent Nshogoza added to the promise made by the Mayor, saying that “the talks between the concerned parties advance normally, in particular with the members of the Consultative Council of the Runda Sector and the population of Runda in general “.

It should be noted that the victims thrown into the Nyabarongo River were not the only ones to have died, but others who had either tried to flee their executioners or could not be taken to the river were savagely slaughtered in the vicinity in order to search for their bodies and bury them with dignity.

Officials from Runda Sector told The Partner Magazine that a census will be conducted to determinate the tustis who were killed in the vicinity of Nyabarongo River and were not thrown there.

According to Dushime, more than 300 Tutsis brought from Gihara catholic parish aboard the vehicles were killed and thrown in the river at Ruliba, while about 70 eldest and children alike suffered the same death at the site of Cyoganyoni.

Commemorative march to the Nyabarongo River, Ruliba site (15th april 2018)

 Jean Louis KAGAHE

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