Kigali, May 22, 2012 (FH) – About 6,000 victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi were Sunday accorded a decent burial at a newly constructed memorial site in Ngoma sector, in Butare prefecture, Southern Rwanda, The New times reported on Tuesday.

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According to the Rwandan daily newspaper, thousands of mourners thronged the airstrip in Huye District to pay their last respects to the victims.

Within Ngoma sector, there was a small military camp commanded by Lieutenant Ildephonse Hategekimana, who has already been sentenced to life imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for supervising massacres of Tutsis around the area.

Bishop Philippe Rukamba of Butare Catholic Diocese reportedly officiated the reburial occasion, whereas Father Jerome Masinzo gave an emotional testimony of how he survived the killings, hiding in a cupboard inside Ngoma Catholic Church, a testimony that left many in tears.

Several other officials, including the president of Ibuka, the umbrella of genocide survivors' associations, Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu, and Minister of Culture and Sports, Protais Mitali attended the session.

Dusingizemungu commended the high turn-up, saying it was a good sign for the population to realize the importance of paying respect to genocide victims. He observed that remembrance activities have helped a lot in healing the wounds inflicted by the genocide.

"Today, it is clear that survivors have decided to move forward while striving to rid the society of any form of hatred," the newspaper quoted Dusingizemungu as saying.

He appealed for continued support to survivors, calling for the setting up of local funds to support vulnerable survivors in their respective communities.

Minister Protais Mitali observed that the massive turnout should be accompanied by the provision of information on the whereabouts of the victims who are yet to be accorded decent burial.

"By providing information on the genocide planners, executors and the whereabouts of victims you will be giving your contribution in building a better and harmonious society while at the same time supporting the healing process for genocide survivors," the New Times quoted.