By Edmund Kagire


Senate president Dr Vincent Biruta (L) and CNLG Executive Secretary, Jean de Dieu Mucyo, after laying a wreath in memory of slain politicians yesterday. (Photo / T. Kisambira)


REBERO – Thousands of people, yesterday, turned up to honour politicians who were killed by the genocidal regime and buried at Mount Rebero in Kicukiro District.

The ceremony, to honour the fallen politicians who opposed Juvenal Habyarimana’s divisive and oppressive government, marked the official end to this year’s national commemoration week.

Senate president, Dr. Vincent Biruta, was the guest of honour at the ceremony also attended by top government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, regional and international delegations.

Biruta commended all Rwandans, in and out of the country, for coming out in large numbers to mark the 17th commemoration.

“Remembering Genocide is not just an event, but a time for the country and its people to reflect and honour the victims, and at the same time, reclaim our dignity as Rwandans,” Biruta said.

“It is a time for us to look back at the bad history of our country and the impact left behind by the Genocide, while at the same time, we strengthen our resolve to ensure that it never happens again”.

Biruta said that, today, the country was focussed on socio-economic development and promotion of democracy and good governance to further promote unity and social cohesion.

He observed that the bad leadership at the time, pitted people against each other and promoted selfish interests, leading to the genocide.

Biruta noted that the politicians being honoured died because they challenged the political and social ills of the government at the time. He added that they sacrificed their lives and would be proud to know that the nation and unity they died for, exists today.

“Today, we accord these heroes the dignity they deserve, but we know that they already died with the dignity by resolving to stand for and die for the truth. What they stood for never died…truth prevails today,” Biruta said.

The Minister of Youth, Protais Mitali, noted that Rwandans responded positively to the commemoration week despite a few incidents which showed that some people still harbour the Genocide ideology.

He also warned those whose intentions were to rewrite the history of the Genocide, adding that there was a lot to be done to ensure that this history is not distorted.
Phoebe Kanyange, the Spokesperson of the Political Parties Forum, noted that the politicians who were remembered should serve as role models.

She noted that while some politicians stood for the truth, others played a major role in planning and executing the Genocide, adding that there were politicians today with such intentions and Rwandans should denounce them.

The politicians laid to rest at Rebero include members of the Liberal Party (PL) Aloys Niyoyita,  Augustine Rwayitare, Charles Kayiranga, Jean de la Croix Rutaremara and Landouard Ndasingwa and Venantie Kabageni.

Others include Social Democratic Party’s Frederic Nzamurambaho, Felicien Ngango, Jean Baptise Mushimiyimana and MDR’s Faustin Rucogoza and the former president of the Constitutional Court, Joseph Kavaruganda. Former Prime Minister, Agathe Uwilingiyimana, was reburied at the Heroes Cemetery.

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