EYEAFRICA TV: Kigali, Rwanda: Across section of the Tutsi genocide survivors say that they are ready to commemorate their loved ones for the 26th year of the genocide against the Tutsis that will be done in their houses. They are however calling for the continued support of the Tutsi genocide survivors during this period.
Kayitaba Michel is one of the genocide survivors who says that they have understood why this year’s commemoration will be different from other years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Egide Gatari, head of the Rwandan Graduate’s Genocide Survivors Organisation (GAERG), says this year the commemoration will be held in a special manner.
“There are things that we were used to doing but I believe we won’t do it this time but it will be different. We will follow the proceedings from home, I think it is also a good time for families to be together and remember their loved ones,” said Kayitaba Michel, a genocide survivor.
“We will be there to assist everyone, you can sit at home and remember your loved ones. You can also use a picture and call out their names from home. We are also urging everyone to write, to write their history and that of their family members. We are asking that during these times we focus on the values of our loved ones other than how they were killed,” said Egide Gatari, head of GAERG.
Uwababyeyi Honorine believes this is the tome to help those in need especially the genocide survivors like it is the norm.
Naphtal Ahishakiye, the executive secretary of Ibuka says that this year’s commemoration is well planned and that those who will need any form of assistance will be helped.
“We have put in place committees of experts especially when it comes to mental health across the districts which trickle down to sector and cell levels and we believe that we are ready so that anyone who needs help, is readily available to them. We will do all this while respecting the measures put in place to fight COVID-19 in the country,” said a resident.
The commemoration period will run for 100 days, but the official week to mourn those who lost their lives during the 1994 genocide perpetrated against the Tutsis will run from 7th to 13th of April.