Taarifa Rwanda

More Than 10000 Victims Of The Genocide In Kibuye Accorded Decent Burial

About 11,000 remains of the Tutsis killed during the 1994 Genocide were accorded decent burial on Monday.

More than 15000 victims were gruesomely slaughtered at Gatwaro Stadium- former Prefecture de Kibuye, in Karongi District.

Officials including Minister of Justice and Attorney General Johnston Busingye, Minister of Environment Vincent Biruta, Rwanda Remembers Executive Secretary Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana, Western Province Governor Alphonse Munyantwari and others were shown parts of the Gatwaro Memorial site, and the location where the perpetrators are serving their life sentences.

Survivors gave shocking testimonies.

Bosco Nkundunkundiye gave the testimony of how the Tutsis from Kibuye had been tortured long before the 1994 Genocide.

“We were harassed; we were hurt too much. When they put me in jail with the then called “ibyitso” infiltrators we were beaten so severely that no one could speak, but today we are still alive. We have a country, we are proud,” he said.

“In Kibuye, we were subjected to heinous torture. At least, in some areas, Inkotanyi managed to arrive earlier and saved people from the shores of the lake. In our case, killers were much free, Zone Turquoise covered them,” he added.

Another witness, Anne Marie, who was during the genocide aged 12 recalled some of the weapons that the enemy used to kill the Tutsis in Kibuye.

Using weapons such as spears, sword, guns, grenades, cudgels and other weapons, members of the Gendarmerie National Police from the Commune of Gitesi where Kibuye town sited, Interahamwe fighters and armed civilians attacked and killed those who had gathered,” she said.

She added that killers also used a very dangerous weapon known as Umugera, that was a long pointed metal weapon with the edge akin to that of an arrow but with a long handle. It was used by the residents of Kibuye.

Hutu residents used Imigera to finish Tutsis who had been wounded.

The first massacre occurred at the St. Jean Catholic Church and Home Complex which sits on a piece of land surrounded by three islands on Lake Kivu. By April 17, thousands of unarmed men, women and children, Tutsis had taken refuge there.

Kibuye was locked in between the prefectures of Gisenyi in the north, Gitarama in the east, Cyangugu in the south, the Tutsis from Kibuye had nowhere to flee.

Kibuye, a town in the northwest of the country, was the site of two such massacres that resulted in the murder of thousands of Tutsi in four days.

In earlier attacks, these locations had been safe shelters. But later, they became extermination centres.

The second massacre took place at Gatwaro Stadium located on the main road in Kibuye town.

As with the Tutsis who gathered at the St. Jean Church and Home Complex, those who congregated at the stadium were told to go there by government officials.

Once there, they were not allowed to leave.

Without food or water, the victims ate grass.

Gatwaro is located next to a steep hillside.

On April 18, members of Gendarmerie  Gitesi, Interahamwe militants and armed civilians surrounded the stadium and the neighbouring hillside.

Gunshots were fire in the air, initiating the massacre.

Men armed with guns were perched on top of the neighbouring hill and shot everyone in the stadium.

When they started throwing grenades, everyone in the stadium took cover.

It was then that the stadium was gassed, everyone started running around, making them easier targets.

Thousands of Tutsis were killed that day.

The following morning, the attackers returned and killed everyone who had survived.

Some survivors ran to Bisesero.

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