IBUKA, the main Genocide Survivors’ Association in Rubavu district is seeking financial support to build a memorial site and burry over 3000 bodies that have spent 17 years in Red zone in Gisenyi sector.
According to Kabanda IBUKA’s Director in Rubavu district, Red zone is a place with horrific memories and bad history. Prisoners dug pits where killers dumped/buried Tutsis (dead or alive). Vicitims were told that they were being taken to safety.
From then on, Red zone was considered as a mass grave standing for a memorial site, for there was no other place provided for burying the victims. Kabanda condemned local leaders for being less concerned with the problem.
“It’s not an issue of money but less concern from leaders who thought it was not necessary. We talked over it several times until we were tired. But now the problem will be solved thanks to present leadership” IBUKA’s Director in Rubavu added.
The new leadership set up a master plan indicating where a new memorial site will be erected. Construction of the site which is estimated to cost nearly Rwf 90 million might take long to complete because of insufficient funds available as Kabanda emphasises.
The genocide memorial site will comprise three parts; one part showing the colonial era in the history of Rwanda, the second part will showcase the so-called 1959 revolution and the third part will provide the A-Z details of the 1990-1994 genocide. Kabanda further said that upon completion, the Western Province will take over the responsibility of the site will because it will be explaining the history of the Genocide in what used to be Gisenyi Prefecture, now part of the Western Province.
Mugisha Francois in charge of youth culture and sports in Rubavu district says there is no other source of finances apart from contribution from local residents, banks, restaurants, organisations and other donors. BRALIRWA, the national brewery also pledged to make a contribution. Local residents raised Rwf 12 million from last year’s (2011) Remembrance Week (Icyunamo).
IBUKA has urged genocide survivors in Rubavu district, other local residents and Rwandans in general to contribute for the memorial site so as to offer a decent burial to genocide victims dumped in the notorious Red zone. “We need you to help us each your capacity and sensitize non genocide survivors to help us complete this project that has taken 17 years before implementation”. IBUKA’s boss in Rubavu.
Bodies of victims of the 1994 genocide against Tutsis are still piled up on top of each other in holes and the weapons used to kill them can be seen atop. Construction works are scheduled to commence on January 2012 with hope that it will be completed by 2013 depending on the availability of funds.