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Rwandans visit genocide graves

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th February 2009 03:00 AM

Rwandan Members of Parliament recently visited a burial site for the 1994 genocide victims at Kasensero in Rakai district ahead of plans to construct a monument.

By Ali Mambule

Rwandan Members of Parliament recently visited a burial site for the 1994 genocide victims at Kasensero in Rakai district ahead of plans to construct a monument.

Between April and June 1994, an estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed in the space of 100 days.

Most of the dead were Tutsis and most of those who perpetrated the violence were Hutus.

The genocide was sparked by the death of then Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, when his plane was shot down above Kigali airport on April 6.

The leader of the MPs’ delegation, Evalest Kaliisa, said they would write a report and present it to the Rwandan parliament before an amount of money is set for the construction.

“Such a remembrance is important to recall what happened and prevent other people from organising similar atrocities. Such a thing (genocide) could happen anywhere else. We all carry the burden of preventing such acts from happening in other countries,” Kaliisa added.

He commended the government of Uganda for purchasing the land at Kasensero where over 4,000 victims were buried. The bodies came to Uganda via River Kagera.

Kaliisa said the Rwandan government remembered not only the victims who were buried in Rwanda, but also those who were buried in other places.

The delegation was, however, shocked to learn that cows were feeding on the grass growing on the mass graves.

“We should respect the dead no matter how or where they were buried,” Kaliisa said.

He urged residents to protect the graves from acting as a feeding ground for the cows.

The MPs also visited other burial sites of the genocide victims at Namirembe landing site in Buwunga sub-county, Masaka district, at Bukakkata and Ssese islands.

Rwandans visit genocide graves

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