Staff members of the Israeli Embassy in Rwanda on Friday (May 27) paid their respects to the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi buried at the Nyanza-Kicukiro Genocide Memorial, Kicukiro District.
The ceremony was also attended by Ibuka Rwanda Programs Director, Olivier Brave Ngabo, who explained the history of the place during the genocide.
The Nyanza-Kicukiro Genocide Memorial is home to over 105,000 victims, many of whom were killed in different areas of Kigali City.
While explaining the uniqueness of the killings at the scene, Ngabo said that in 1994 at ETO-Kicukiro (currently IPRC-Kigali) there were troops serving under UNAMIR, which is why many Tutsis from surrounding area sought refuge, hoping to be protected. by these well-armed UN soldiers.
However, he said, the Belgian contingent left the country, leaving the Tutsis in the hands of Interahamwe militiamen who marched them to Nyanza where they were killed. Those who failed were killed along the way.
“The perpetrators brought Tutsis here because they feared being seen by foreigners passing near Sonatubes on their way to Kigali International Airport. Some Tutsis were killed on the way to Nyanza, and those who were brought there were also brutally murdered. Out of more than 3,000 Tutsis who were escorted from Etoo Kicukiro to Nyanza, only 90 people survived,” he explained.
In his address, Israel’s Ambassador to Rwanda, Ron Adam said that the Genocide against the Tutsi and the Holocaust have a lot in common.
“As a second-generation Holocaust survivor, I can tell what it’s like to expect death at any moment, to find no safe place to hide, and to be herded into one place with one intention; kill you because of the way you were born. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi, and we stand in solidarity and comfort those who survived,” he said.
The Ambassador also stressed that Genocide survivors should share their personal testimonies as much as they can and put them in writing whenever possible, noting that this is a lasting weapon to fight against denial. of genocide.
Embassy staff listen to a guide during a guided tour through the Garden of Memory at the memorial. Courtesy
“It will also help the post-genocide generation to know the truth about what happened during the genocide and to be able to confront genocide deniers,” he added.
After laying wreaths at the memorial site, staff from the Israeli Embassy in Rwanda visited the “Garden of Memory”.