Rwanda remembers families completely wiped out in the Genocide

Rubavu, 27 May 2017 – Last night, over 800 genocide survivors from Students and Former Students Genocide Survivors Associations of AERG and GAERG convened at Rubavu Stadium in Rubavu District to commemorate families that were completed wiped out in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Joined by Rubavu district residents, the event kicked off with a Walk to Remember towards Commune Rouge Genocide Memorial where wreaths of remembrance were laid to the burial place of over 4600 Tutsi killed in the Genocide.

A completely wiped out family is a family whose members were entirely killed, with no survivor to continue the family line. To-date, 7,797 completely perished families composed of 34,823 members have been identified in 17 districts. The target is to cover all 30 districts of Rwanda.

“Remembering the families completely wiped out is paying tribute to those killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi as none of their relatives survived to remember them. We remember their names, we recall their good deeds, we remember their dreams and aspirations. This serves to call to mind their lives to ensure that their memory never fades away,” GAERG President Olivier Mazimpaka said.

Since 2009, the families completely wiped out are remembered annually under the theme, “You Will Never Be Forgotten While I Am Still Alive.”

Rubavu is part of the former Gisenyi Prefecture and served as place where authorities trialled the genocide. In 1991, 1992 and 1993, the Bagogwe people (a group of Tutsi living in current Musanze, Nyabihu and Rubavu Districts) were systematically murdered. Men and women were killed at Mukamira and Bigogwe military barracks. Others were thrown into Nyaruhonga caves in Nyabihu District.

The Genocide against the Tutsi began on 7 April 1994. After three days, almost all the Bagogwe people living in the area had been killed. The militia who carried out the murders there were then transported to other parts of the country to reinforce other genocidal forces which were perpetrating the killings.

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