Rwanda ends 100 days of commemoration

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda chiding the West in April

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda chiding the West in April

The Umbrella association of genocide survivors (Ibuka) has concluded the official one hundred days of the 21st commemoration of the 1994 genocide

Rwandans of all walks of life took part in the closing ceremony held at the Gisozi Genocide memorial site, Wednesday July 15, where over 259.000 victims of the genocide are currently laid to rest.

After turning off the flame of hope that has been glowing for the last 100 days since April, participants held a moment of silence to pay tribute to all genocide victims and laid wreaths in respect of their dignity.

The event was presided over by Egide Nkuranga, the Vice President of Ibuka, who said that the last 100 days of commemoration have been a success as many Rwandans were able to participate in the commemoration activities which were held at village level.

Nkuranga said that Ibuka is yet to put out a report about the activities that were conducted to assist genocide survivors and widows and orphans during the commemoration period.

He lauded organizations like Imbuto foundation- an initiative of Rwanda’s first lady to help children and girls, the organization of students genocide survivors (AERG) which also took part in supporting various vulnerable survivors countrywide.

Nkuranga noted that from next year 2016, the official closure of the 100 days of genocide commemoration will be a bigger event and accompanied with various simultaneous activities ahead of the turning off of the flame of hope.

Some of the widows of genocide said that the commemoration period this year was a life changing period as many of them received support from various government and non-governmental organizations.

Grace Mukayirera, the Vice Chairperson of the Association of genocide widows (Avega) said that

“Unlike in the past when no one used to visit us, this year we have seen the community being very supportive and concerned to know our plight. We hope this can continue” Mukayirera said

The one hundred symbolize the April-July period in 1994, the duration of the genocide.

Every April, top government officials including the president launch commemoration period in a more pronounced event.

This April Rwandan President Paul Kagame, as usual lashed at the west for harbouring killers or Genocidaires and treating them like VIPs.

The president also castigated the international community for not doing enough to deal with the Rwandan rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a group the Kigali government accuses of participating in the Genocide and is still hell-bent to attack Rwanda.