On Saturday 4 May, representatives of the IMENA and IBUKA organisations visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial to remember the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, and the victims whose bodies were never found.
IMENA is an non-profit organisation that dedicates itself to gathering names and information of victims of the Genocide whose bodies have never been located, and whose fate during the Genocide remains unknown: Their moto is Ndi ijwi ryawe wowe ntazi aho waguye”, which in English translates to “I am your voice, you whom I do not know where you fell”. After the Genocide, the organisation also relocated orphans and sole survivors from families that were victims of the Genocide into new families.
The group began their remembrance event by attending a walk to remember, which began at the Kacyiru bus station, heading towards the Kigali Genocide memorial.
Upon arrival at the memorial, the group went on to lay wreaths on the mass graves, which are the final resting place for over 250’000 victims of the Genocide. They then visited the memorial’s exhibition to learn about the history of the Genocide and the importance of fighting Genocide ideology. The assembly then moved on to the amphitheatre where they held a remembrance ceremony.
“It is not easy to remember our beloved one who we do not know where they are, but we hope that this wall that contains a few names of victims whom their bodies were not found will always be the signs that will help us in commemoration”. Emmanuel Ntirandekura, IMENA family member.
“It is our responsibility to remember our people who died in Genocide against the Tutsi. These victims whose bodies were not found will not be forgotten because we are here. We will always remember them, we are their voice. Thank you to Genocide survivors. You made it, let’s stand together and fight against Genocide ideology and Genocide Denial.” Fidele Nsengiyaremye, IMENA Family Coordinator.
“I was the sole survivor of the Genocide. I lost all my family and was left alone. The only speculations that I heard about my family is that they are all dead. I was taken in by another beautiful mother, Francoise. She looked after me. She paid for my education and now I have a job and I will graduate next year in Marketing at INLAK. Though I lost my mother, I am happy that I got another”. Diane Rusasingwa, IMENA family member.