Published: 21:00, April 12, 2024
Rwanda honors genocide victims in dignified burial ceremony
By Xinhua
Coffins containing newly discovered remains of victims of the 1994 genocide arranged before a funeral ceremony inside a Catholic church, in Nyamata, Rwanda, April 5, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

KIGALI — The remains of 1,095 victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi were laid to rest at the Mutete Genocide Memorial in Gicumbi District, Northern province, Rwanda, in a solemn ceremony that took place during the country's mourning week.

The event, which aimed to honor those who lost their lives during one of Rwanda's darkest chapters, saw the burial of 1,049 bodies that had previously been interred at the memorial without proper renovation, along with 33 bodies retrieved from various locations and 13 relocated from the Nyamiyaga Memorial.

Acting Mayor of the Gicumbi District Parfaite Uwera expressed solidarity with the families of the victims, emphasizing the importance of supporting genocide survivors. She urged vigilance against the propagation of genocide ideology, particularly on social media platforms.

Speaking at the ceremony, Rwandan Minister of Local Government Jean Claude Musabyimana offered words of encouragement to the bereaved families, calling upon them to draw strength from their resilience and patience as they laid their loved ones to rest with dignity.

The event served as a poignant reminder of the enduring scars left by the genocide and the ongoing commitment to remember and honor its victims. As Rwanda continues its journey of healing and reconciliation, such events underscore the importance of confronting the past while striving for a future built on unity and peace.

Rwanda has commenced a week of national mourning and 100 days of commemoration to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, under the theme "Remember-Unite-Renew."

Entertainment and sporting competitions are suspended during the mourning week, and the national flag will fly at half-mast. The commemorative activities will continue until July 4, marking the 100-day calamity during which more than 1 million people, mainly Tutsi and moderate Hutus, were killed.