Rwamagana, 15 April 2008(FH) - The victims of the 1994 genocide of the Mwulire sector in Rwamagana district, Eastern Province, waged a hard fought resistance to their attackers but succumbed to their strength and large numbers, Hirondelle Agency has learned.  

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"We held back for a quite a while the attacks of the Interahamwe militia by means of stones, bows and spears. Seeing that we were not giving up, they [attackers] called upon gendarmes and soldiers of the presidential guard. Many among us fell to the bullets from their guns in the attack... We are a handful of people to have survived ", said Francois Rutareka, a former counsellor in the sector when giving personal experience at the closing ceremony of the mourning week in Rwamagana district on Sunday.

One of acts of bravery of insurgents in Mwulire, explained the sixty-year old Rutareka, was that they killed two police officers and the vehicle of soldiers was set on fire using banana leafs.

The occasion also gave a decent burial to some 3, 048 exhumed victims. The memorial site, which hosted the10th national commemoration in 2004, holds remains of about 15 000 victims.

Mr Jean Baptist Ndanyuzwe, Deputy Mayor in charge of economic affairs who represented the government of the district, called on the population to "fight strongly against genocide ideology as a befitting reward worthy of the bravery of the victims in Mwulire".

He also urged unconditional assistance to genocide survivors and to the participation in the development activities in the country.

The vice-president of IBUKA (Rwamagana district), association of genocide victims, Mrs Immaculee Mukankubito, regretted the insecurity of the survivors and minimal support rendered to them.

For nearly three years, the official commemoration of the genocide has been marked from 7 to 13 April. However, IBUKA commemorates until July thus covering the 100 sinister days of the 1994 genocide of largely ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

According to the UN estimates, about 800,000 people were killed in the nation-wide attacks.


© Hirondelle News Agency