Nyamata , 3 April 2008 (FH) - This year's commemoration of the Rwandan genocide in Nyamata, Bugesera district, eastern Rwanda, will be distinctive because of the history of the area and the extent of massacres which occurred there, reports Hirondelle Agency.

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Gaspard Musonera, Mayor of Bugesera, said: "The 14th commemoration of the 1994 genocide will have a historical character for the survivors as it takes place in an area which was a field for extermination of Tutsis since the 1960's".

According to him, Nyamata was an inhospitable ground when ethnic Tutsis were exiled there to succumb to the tsetse flies and deadly wild animals in 1960.

Their massacres in 1963, 1964, 1967, 1973, and 1992, he adds, were an experiment for the genocide by the Rwandan state in preparation for the final phase in 1994. "Bugesera is the embodiment of history of the genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda," he stated. The commemoration will reach its climax on 7 April.

The former commune of Kanzenze was estimated to have lost nearly 65, 000 ethnic Tutsis during the bloody April-July slaughter. Some 39, 876 of them are buried in the memorial site in Nyamata.

" More than 20, 000 are still in mass graves," said Andre Kamana, incharge of the memorial site in the district.

He said that a lot of victims' remains are deteriorating because of lack of adequate preservation.

Several thousand Tutsis were massacred in the church of Nyamata, the current memorial site.


© Hirondelle News Agency