Muhanga, 15 May 2008 (FH) - A 90-year-old woman Genevieve Mukanyonga, a survivor of 1994 Rwandan genocide, was brutally killed last week by setting her on fire in her own house and neighbours confessed to the crime in Muhanga, southern Rwanda , reports Hirondelle Agency.

1 min 12Approximate reading time

The old woman, who had lost all her children during the genocide, lived alone. Her body was found completely burnt, according to a neighbour.

Six inhabitants of the village, between ages 24 and 77 years, confessed to the crime, which they justified for fear of being accused of being looters in 1994 before the semi-traditional Gacaca Court.

"We broke into the deceased's house at around 10 in the morning. We tied her to the bed, poured kerosene and set her on fire", remarked septuagenarian Eulade Nsabimana, detained with his accomplices at Muhanga police station.

"We concluded that there was a collective complicity in the killing. We assembled the entire village and 12 hours later confessions started", explained a police officer.

The six alleged murderers of Mrs Mukanyonga have been identified as her neighbours and allegedly are implicated in the looting of goods belonging to the victims during the genocide.

"The genocidaires are still there. How do you want us to feel safe now that they have chosen to kill us in the broad mid day? lamented a young woman in the area.

"We have said that not enough is being done to punish and discourage the genocidaires. Not enough to guarantee safety of survivors and witnesses of the genocide. To kill in the middle of the day, is a way of defying the authorities", stated an anonymous IBUKA official, an umbrella associations of genocide survivors.

According to IBUKA, murder of Mukanyonga brings the number of victims of such acts to 167 since 1995. During the first quarter of this year, at least 12 people have been reportedly killed under similar circumstances.


© Hirondelle News Agency