This Thursday, April 13, 2023, Rwanda officially closed the national mourning week in memory of victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the last day of the week pays a tribute to politicians killed in 1994.
The commemoration event held at mount Rebero in Kigali, was officiated at by the President of the Senate, Francois-Xavier Kalinda and included top government officials, politicians, diplomats accredited to Rwanda and other members of the public.
At Rebero, there are twelve persons buried at the memorial site including Agathe Uwilingiyimana who was the Prime Minister killed at the outbreak of the genocide. Uwilingiyimana was a political opponent to President Juvénal Habyarimana, she was killed with her husband on April 7, 1994.
“The politicians who were killed because of their stand against the politics of discrimination and division and Genocide ideology shall always be remembered for setting a good example by dissociating themselves with evil & speaking out against injustice,” Senate President Kalinda said.
Senator Kalinda noted that, “it is important that we always remember our country’s tragic history. We must never forget the history of the Genocide against the Tutsi in order to preserve our unity and stand together against the Genocide Ideology.”
Member of Parliament Elisabeth Mukamana, the spokesperson of the Forum of political parties approved in Rwanda said that, we, the current and future politicians, have the responsibility to continue to educate Rwandans in general, to live together in peace and continue strengthening the unity of Rwandans.
Jean Damascène Bizimana, the Minister of National Unity recalled that Genocide was caused by bad politics supported by well-known politicians from extremist political parties.
“Tutsis were discriminated against in all sectors like education, the properties of Tutsi refugees were looted and those who did not flee the country were persecuted,” he said.
Minister Bizimana said that the bad politics were reinforced by political parties like MRND and CDR by planning the Genocide and carried it out, even killed politicians who did not support this incendiary policy.
Politicians remembered today, were hailed as courageous for opposing the politics of division until they paid the ultimate price for the unity of Rwandans.
The week of national mourning this year, as Kwibuka29 started on Friday, April 7 by President Paul Kagame at Kigali Genocide Memorial site. Although the national mourning week ends today, the mourning period is extended until July 4, which marks the end of the Genocide against the Tutsi.