14.04.08 - RWANDA/GENOCIDE - RWANDA GENOCIDE MOURNING WEEKS ENDS

Kigali, 14 April,2008(FH)-The week-long mourning of the 1994 genocide ended on Sunday with a ceremony for the memory of politicians killed during the slaughter.

 

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"The politicians are remembered today as having taught as the value of courage, patriotism and fight against genocide... This bravery serves upon us enlightenment and example to the Rwandan leadership," said Vincent Biruta, president of the Rwandan Senate during the climax.

Mr Biruta deplored the persistence of negationist ideology in Rwanda and outside the country. "As we solve our problems, some people are holding international conferences to deny genocide ideology.'; he stressed, apparently referring to a recent conference in Canada hosted by experts and observers who consider that that not only ethnic Tutsis were killed in Rwanda's genocide history and another rally which was held in Belgium last week by pro-Hutu supporters as part of the genocide commemoration.

Addressing at the same occasion, Francois Ngarambe, Secretary General of Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) and spokesman of Forum for Registered Parties, said the Rwandan policy was not done in the western capitals nor in the foreign embassies in Kigali.

The week was marked with decent burials of the victims, conferences and discussions on the history and consequences of the genocide.

This year's commemoration at national level was held in Bugesera district, Eastern Rwanda, because of the history of the area and the extent of massacres which occurred there.

According to Gaspard Musonera, Mayor of Bugesera, Nyamata was an inhospitable ground when ethnic Tutsis were exiled there to succumb to the tsetse flies and deadly wild animals in 1960s.

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."

The UN estimates that about 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in April-July 1994 slaughter.

SRE/ER/AT/SC

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