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Nyabihu slam MINISPOC for unfulfilled promise to construct Mukamira Memorial site

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Nyabihu slam MINISPOC for unfulfilled promise to construct Mukamira Memorial site

Posted on 19 April 2015 by peter

For five years, the Ministry of Culture and sports (MINISPOC) promised Rwf65 Million to Nyabihu District for construction of Mukamira Genocide Memorial Site but trials have been on a regular failure without clarification.

Despite numerous struggles to get the ministry to release the promised funds, Nyabihu is still waiting in vain a reason they made the final attempt to remind the ministry of the promise made and get the fund to finish the construction of the memorial site.

Nyabihu slam MINISPOC for unfulfilled promise to construct Mukamira Memorial site

The 1st Phase of Mukamira Memorial site was completed; the second construction phase is being awaited.

“When Joseph Habineza was the Minister in MINISPOC and had joined us in a genocide memorial event, he had  promised to give us the money to complete the construction of Mukamira Memorial Site but since then, the promise has not been realized,” recounts Anastase Juru, the coordinator of IBUKA in Nyabihu district.

After finishing in renovation, painting, fencing and tiling among other things one part of Mukamira Memorial Site with the support of local people and Nyabihu district, they are waiting for the Local Government Ministry to fulfill its promise and have the 2nd part of Mukamira Memorial Site be constructed.

“The first phase of Mukamira Memorial site renovation had cost Rwf70 Million and we are waiting for Rwf65 Million from MINISPOC to finish the 2nd phase” explains Juru.

Nyabihu slam MINISPOC for unfulfilled promise to construct Mukamira Memorial site

Anastase Juru, the coordinator of IBUKA reminding MINISPOC of its promise during a memorial service

The 2nd part of Mukamira Memorial Site will include construction of a museum house, a room and office, the tiled part where to lay wreaths of flowers during commemoration, tiling the mass graves for 1994 genocide against Tutsis victims, toilets and the watchman’s house.

The 2nd phase construction project is ready to commence as soon as MINISPOC releases the Rwf65M.

The Ministry concerned has not been able to explain the cause of delaying funds despite several inquiries for the right answers.

Mukamira Memorial Site is situated in Kazuba village in Mukamira sector and has about 2074 1994 genocide victims laid to rest in the area.

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Anastase Juru

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Nyabihu: MINISPOC empty promises angers IBUKA

Posted on 19 April 2015 by peter

Nyabihu: MINISPOC empty promises angers IBUKA

The Ministry of Culture and sports (MINISPOC) during the reign of Joseph Habineza pledged to contribute Rwf65million towards the construction of Mukamira Genocide Memorial Site.

According to Anastase Juru, the coordinator of IBUKA in Nyabihu district it has been more than 5 years and the Ministry of Culture and sports never fulfilled its promise.

“By the time, Joseph Habineza was the Minister in MINISPOC and had joined us in a genocide memorial ceremony and he did promise that on behalf of the ministry he pledged towards the construction of the  Memorial Site but since then, the promise has not been realized yet,” recounts Juru.

Anastase Juru

Anastase Juru

Mukamira Memorial Site is situated in Kazuba village in Mukamira sector and shelters over 2074 genocide victims.

He explained that the construction project had other partners who fulfilled their pledges now awaiting MINISPOC to release Rwf65million to complete for the second phrase.

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Rwanda's Tourism Sector grabbed massive Americans 2014

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Rwanda’s Tourism Sector grabbed massive Americans 2014

Posted on 16 April 2015 by peter

The United States is the largest contributor to Rwanda’s tourism revenues, accounting for 20% of the total revenue.

The immigration office says 1,220,000 visitors were received in 2014, compared to 1,122,000 visitors hosted in 2013, corresponding to a 9% increase (98,000 visitors).

In 2014, of the total number of visitors, 24,488 were Americans, followed by India with 13,008 visitors, then United Kingdom with 12,320, Belgium with 8,733, and 8,228 Germans on the fifth spot.

Rwanda Development Board (RDB) says the country generated$304.9 million in 2014 from tourism, compared to$293.6 million in 2013, representing an increase of 4%. These revenues increased from $62 million in 2000.

Apart from being the safest spot for vacation in Africa, wildlife sight-seeing, especially gorilla and bird watching, and conferences draw the biggest portion of the revenues. The country hosted 19,085 conference visitors, compared to 15,441 in 2013, earning $29 million.

Georgianne Nienaber, an American author and regular visitor to Rwandatold KTPress that “Americans realize thatRwanda is one of the safest places to vacation in Africa. More and more tourists will come.”

Rwanda's Tourism Sector grabbed massive Americans 2014

Georgianne on Canopy Walk in Nyungwe forest

Tourists enjoy the variety of landscapes, the other wildlife, and especially the birds, Nienaber says. “Americans are big bird enthusiasts.”

Payments for gorilla permits accounted for 70% of this year’s tourism revenues worth$213.43 million, RDB says. A foreigner pays $750 to visit mountain gorillas.

Being home to two thirds of the world’s mountain gorillas aggressive conservation efforts in the last 10 years have helped breed 179 mountain gorilla infants, usually cerebrated and given names during the Kwita Izina ceremonies, inspired by the Rwandan baby naming tradition following the birth of a new baby.

Global figures such as Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Rick Warren have participated in the event.  Last year, over 500 international guests participated.

Meanwhile, the country targets generating $860 million from tourism by 2016, but analysts say the target is a little too ambitious and may not be attained due to different shortfalls, especially in the quality of services.

“When you look at Rwanda’s tourism growth in a regional perspective, a lot needs to be done,” said Joseph Opondo, a lecturer at Rwanda Tourism University.

“There should be more efforts in improving services like hospitality in different sectors of this country,” he said.

Rwanda's Tourism Sector grabbed massive Americans 2014

An encounter with mountain gorillas in their natural habitat in Rwanda.

Rwanda's Tourism Sector grabbed massive Americans 2014

tourists trekking in one of the forests in Rwanda

Source:KT Press

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Nyarubuye genocide memorial to get facelift3

Kirehe: Nyarubuye genocide memorial to get facelift

Posted on 02 April 2015 by peter

In a bid to maintain and keep memories of the victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, Kirehe district plans to renovate Nyarubuye genocide memorial site.

Nyarubuye genocide memorial to get facelift

Nyarubuye genocide memorial site is home to the remains of more than 50,000 victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

This comes after residents complained about the construction of Nyarubuye memorial site, saying every year a promise is made but never put into place.

This was revealed on 28th March 2015 during monthly umuganda.

Nyarubuye genocide memorial to get facelift2

Ernest Rwagasana, head of Kirehe district council revealed to this website that a master plan has been made for the construction of Nyarubuye genocide memorial site, saying what is left is to present the master plan with the district administration.

“The latest news reaching us is that the master plan has been drafted. What is remaining is to discuss with the district administration about the master plan and include it in the next fiscal year,” said Rwagasana.

Nyarubuye genocide memorial to get facelift3

He said that the site will be decent place to store the remains of the victims and also provide space for the young generation to learn the history of genocide.

While Nyarubuye genocide memorial site awaits construction, Jacqueline Murekatete; vice mayor in charge of social affairs urged residents to take good care of the site by cleaning and keeping grass short.

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The Embarrassing Photograph France Would Rather Doesn’t Exist

Posted on 28 March 2015 by peter

On June 25, 1994, Boniface Higiro was 19 years. At around 11:00am, a convoy of military and white civilian vehicles drove uphill towards Bisesero, located in Western Rwanda.

“We saw white people calling us to come down as they were here to rescue us,” narrates Higiro, now 40 years. And they did come out hoping for protection.

Boniface Higiro is one of the 900 surviving Tutsis from what turned out to be one of the worst mass extermination projects in which tens of thousands of Tutsis were lured to their death by French troops.

Twenty one years later, after the Genocide against the Tutsis, he still has vivid recollections of the few days that will remain ingrained in his memory forever.

Bisesero located in the hilly region of Kibuye prefecture, today’s Karongi District. Before the genocide began en-mass on April 6, 1994, it was considered to have more Tutsis than Hutus, according to an academician, Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana.

It was target of the ex-government forces and genocide Interahamwe militias. Despite months of reinforcements, Tutsis armed with stones, sticks and anything they could get hold o, battled for survival to counter mass attacks.

Hundreds died due to the overwhelming power of the attacks coordinated from the highest levels of the interim government led by Theodore Sindikubwabo.

Survivors including Kwigize Jean, say that the militias who were brought from adjacent regions and began occupying the hill tops. It was from there that they strode downhill armed with the most crude weapons and guns to clear out all Tutsis.

Tutsis then organized themselves into coordinated resistance groups. “We knew for years that one day extremists will come to exterminate us, and indeed they did” says Kwigize. “There were only two options; fight the killers or wait to be wiped out.”

Bisesero in 1994

Three French journalists

The former Finance Finance, Emmanuel Ndindabahizi, is serving life sentence for his role providing a constant supply of weapons for militias to head to Bisesero. Convicted Aloys NDIMBATI, the bourgmestre of nearby Gisovu commune also availed government vehicles that ferried the militias to Bisesero.

Up until June, Tutsis in Bisesero fought running battles pushing the militia onslaught up the hills, as the latter moved down clearing anything with breathe.

Whenever they were overwhelmed, the militias retreated while burning up everything to deny food and hiding places for Tutsis.

Then on June 27, news spread quickly that white people had arrived in Bisesero.

Exhausted and hungry, many Tutsis were still alive. Higiro and Kwigize, with thousands others moved towards the French convoy.

The two remember very well seeing French commandos urging them to return to their homes and a camp was set up at the exact location.

The French soldiers were accompanied by government forces. Higiro and Kwigize say they pleaded with their visitors to either stay or be relocate to other regions. But as they cried for protection, militias and government soldiers laughed.

Within hours, the French told the crowding Tutsi survivors that they would return “tomorrow”, before driving off.

Three French journalists from three of France’s biggest media were on the convoy including Patrick de Saint-Exupéry. He has since published a series of award-winning publications about his time in the region.

Meanwhile, on the evening of the same day, survivors saw buses and military trucks driving towards Bisesero from all directions.

From a distance, the occupants sung and chanted as though they were heading for a big celebration. The final assault on Bisesero was being prepared.

As the massacre went on in Bisesero region, Patrick de Saint-Exupéry writes that on June, 29, French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur and Defense Minister François Léotard arrived in Kibuye to visit their troops.

Saint-Exupéry reportedly asked the two officials in an unscripted exchange what was going to be done for Tutsis holed up the mountains.

“We will go there,” responded Balladur, according to Saint-Exupéry’s account. “…tomorrow, we will go there.”

Bisesero March 2015

Hope from horror

Data from UN indictments which led to conviction of several government officials and businessmen for their role in the Bisesero massacre shows that internal planning had set June 30, as the deadline to “finalise work in Bisesero”. It was the date by which no Tutsis would be left in the area.

French troops were part of a UN-mandated. The French contingent set up the infamous ‘Zone Turquoise’ covering Wester and some parts of Southern Rwanda.

As the photo taken 21 years ago shows, nothing much has changed in the exact location where it was taken by a civilian member of the convoy.

About 300m away is the magnificent Bisesero genocide memorial site built on one of the hills.

The embarrassing photo, along with the remains of the tens of thousands of victims, is laid to rest inside the memorial.

On March 21, 2015, more than 700 orphans from different parts of the country made the emotional journey back to Bisesero.

The orphans grouped in the Association of Student Genocide Survivors and former students cleaned the memorial site, built a new house for a vulnerable survivor and rewarded two individuals for saving Tutsis.

An elderly woman who hid Tutsis and watched her husband killed, was rewarded with a cow. The military also promised her to a well-furnished house.

Today, the population of Bisesero is largely comprised of frail elderly people and some in their 40s, all of whom are males.

The old, women and children who could not survive the militia assault, hunger and disease, died during the horrific days of June.

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Source: KT Press

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Why is Nyange memorial site in bad shape?

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Why is Nyange memorial site in bad shape?

Posted on 11 March 2015 by peter

Why is Nyange memorial site in bad shape?

Families of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi victims in Nyange sector of Ngororero district are wondering why Nyange memorial site is in a poor condition.

“Us, whose relative’s remains lie in the Rukumberi memorial site, we are really sad. We would be delighted if this site was upgraded and put up to required standards,” said Donathile Mukandekezi, a genocide survivor from Nyange sector.

Why is Nyange memorial site in bad shape?

Nyange memorial site, where remains of at least 7,217  killed in the Genocide lie, is described by Jean d’Amour Niyosenga, president of IBUKA; an umbrella organization for genocide survivors in Ngororero district, as “historical site”, considering how the Genocide perpetrators used copters to chase Tutsis who attempted to find refuge in the area.

However, it had been revealed in 2014 by Jean De Dieu Mucyo, the president of the National Commission against genocide (CNLG) that it was due to misunderstandings between Nyundo catholic Diocese and Ngororero district concerning the site.

It was due to this revelation that Gideon Ruboneza, mayor of Ngororero district highlighted that the district entered into partnership with CNLG and the Diocese to construct to upgrade Nyanza memorial site.

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Nyanza: GAERG, AERG help vulnerable genocide survivors

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Nyanza: GAERG, AERG help vulnerable genocide survivors

Posted on 11 March 2015 by peter

Members of GAERG, and AERG, the organizations for genocide survivor former university students donated to vulnerable genocide survivors to help them improve on social standards.

GEARG and AERG on March 7, donated cows, renovated houses and built kitchen gardens (uturima tw’igikoni) for the vulnerable old genocide widows.

The event was marked by umuganda in Kibilizi sector in Nyanza district where participants visited and paid respect to over 300 bodies of the genocide victims at Kibilizi memorial centre.

Members of GAERG, and AERG, the organizations for genocide survivor former university students donated to vulnerable genocide survivors to help them improve on social standards. GEARG and AERG on March 7, donated cows, renovated houses and built kitchen gardens (uturima tw’igikoni) for the vulnerable old genocide widows. The event was marked by umuganda in Kibilizi sector in Nyanza district where participants visited and paid respect to over 300 bodies of the genocide victims at Kibilizi memorial centre

Odette Uwambayinzobe, a beneficiary and genocide widow commended youth for the cow saying she will be drinking milk once it gets an offspring.

“This cow will give me milk in addition to keeping me busy in my old age. May God reward your efforts” she said.

Nyanza: GAERG, AERG help vulnerable genocide survivors

AERG and GAERG members build a kitchen garden in Kibilizi sector

Uwambayinzobe added that though she lives alone in the house, she will try her best and take good care of the cow because she already grew the grass to feed it.

Jean Bosco Munyaneza, coordinator of AERG-INILAK Nyanza branch told this website that the purpose of the umuganda is to help vulnerable 1994 Tutsi genocide survivors as they prepare for 21st genocide commemoration.

Nyanza: GAERG, AERG help vulnerable genocide survivors

The renovated house was at the verge of collapsing

GAERG and AERG members were joined by residents of Kibilizi sector in community work to help improve the lives of vulnerable genocide survivors.

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Tourism, hospitality graduates urged to be entrepreneurs

Tourism, hospitality graduates urged to be entrepreneurs

Posted on 23 January 2015 by peter

Tourism, hospitality graduates urged to be entrepreneurs

Graduands   completing their courses   in tourism and hospitality have been challenged to look at starting their own businesses as one way of contributing to the development of the country.

Zulfat Mukarubega, founder   and legal representative of RwandaTourism University Colleg-RTUC said that    Rwanda requires more entrepreneurs mainly in the hospitality and   tourism   sector to   foster its service delivery.

“ do not  bury your heads in frustration and wait for  the opportune time and cash  fortunes to  start your  business, start  today,”  she  said  during  the 3rd graduation  ceremony for the university  on Thursday.

Sheadds, “Ican’t stress strongly enough   how determined you must be, for the road to success is neither short nor easy. Many will fail at some point, and you must learn   to overcome heavy doses offrustration, burn out and disappointment along the way”.

Mukarubega said that RTUC has equipped the graduands   with   all the skills, competencies and right attitude that they need to transform the Rwandan society in customer care   and entrepreneurship.

“May Rwandans   to world class and the international community out there arelooking up to you Graduands to set a benchmark as employees and more importantly, entrepreneurs,” she added

Rwanda Tourism University College-RTUC began  in  2000 and was accredited and given degree awarding powers  by government  in 2012 offers   courses in Business information technology, hotel and restaurant management, travel and tourism management, vocational  training  programs and media studies.

Callixte Kabera, vice rector of the University said that the  university  college  has been vital in closing the skills gap that has been facing the tourism  sector in the country through  provision of  locally trained  skilled labour.

“We provide hands- on skills to our graduates which we believe   help them to perform well at their workplace,” he said

A total of 433 graduates have received their degrees , diplomas  and certificates  that will help  them   perform  and compete  favorably  in the  tourism  sector.

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Rwanda eyes heritage to boost tourism

Rwanda eyes heritage to boost tourism

Posted on 06 January 2015 by peter

Rwanda eyes heritage to boost tourism

“Economic benefits of heritage tourism include creating new jobs and businesses, increasing tax revenues, and diversifying the local economy” remarks Minister Francois Kanimba.

The Minister also pointed out that, those economic benefits are not the only reason why heritage tourism may be good for your community—“it has quality-of-life benefits as well”.

”Heritage tourism helps preserve your town’s unique character, which results in greater civic pride. Residents benefit too! There are more opportunities available such as shops, activities, and entertainment offerings that the local market alone might not be able to support”, said Minister Kanimba.

What is Heritage Tourism?

Heritage Tourism refers activities and services which provide international and domestic visitors with the opportunity to experience, understand and enjoy the special values of a region’s heritage, are sometimes referred to as heritage tourism.

‘Heritage’ and ‘Culture’ have become interchangeable and elastic terms. In the context of the arts for example, the use of the term culture relates to how a society’s history, beliefs, values, traditions and icons are manifested in an artistic format. The term often embraces Indigenous and natural culture, depending upon the perspective of the proponent.

Heritage tourism occupies a significant proportion of the ‘cultural tourism’ spectrum, and while it often overlaps with and links to other tourism product, the historic or human dimensions considerably inform and shape all parts of the spectrum. In this sense, heritage provides an ‘overarching’ component or common thread for many tourism products in a country or localized area.

Tourism remains at the top of the country’s foreign exchange earners and has retained a share of international business while the country’s opportunities to grow its tourism services are immense, ranging from hosting meetings and conferences, tapping into religious and cultural experiences, taking advantage of its eco and national parks and expanding water and leisure sports.

Rwanda has since invested in the convention bureau and other infrastructure and is seeking investors for spa and golf resort hotels along Lake Kivu and a cable car system on the slopes of the Volcanoes National Park. In addition, a new cultural village will be set up in Kigali to showcase a spectrum of the nation’s heritage in one setting.

Within the framework of implementing the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan which is among the highlights of the Government seven year plan, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Francois Kanimba chaired a validation workshop on the dubbed “Heritage Corridor Tourism Sub-Master Plan connecting Kigali to the Nyungwe National Park”.

The study was commissioned in collaboration with Rwanda Development Board and aims to transform this region into a competitive tourists’ destination in Rwanda.

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Nyanza Organises New cultural festival

Nyanza Organises New cultural festival

Posted on 25 December 2014 by peter

Nyanza Organises New cultural festival

Rwanda’s tourism industry has continued to be diversified with the latest being the introduction of a cultural festival this Boxing day.

The Nyanza District, home to some of the country’s most impressive historical cultural sites from the former kingdom, has partnered with the National Institute for Museums and others to launch a culture festival held for the first time this year on Boxing Day, December 26.

Information received from Kigali confirms that the Rwesero Art Museum has been selected as the venue for the inaugural event which according to the source will become part of Rwanda’s annual calendar of festivals.

Traditional song, poetry, arts, and crafts, alongside traditional food preparations, will form the core of the various activities for the day, aimed to bring closer the country’s rich history to the present day generation.

The festival targets not only Rwandans but also visitors from Eastern Africa and foreign tourists who are in the country and have the opportunity to stop by and enjoy some of the performances.

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