How Habyarimana Segregated, Exterminated Tutsi In Ngoma

approved geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>The flame will return to Kigali on 7 April 2014, approved the start of the national mourning period and twenty years since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

The flame travels next to Nyarubuye in Kirehe District on 27 March 2014.

Ngoma is composed of the former communes of Birenga, Sake, Mugesera, and Kigarama.

Like Bugesera before 1960, most of the area was uninhabited. However after the massacres of Tutsi in 1959-1963 in Gikongoro, the survivors were forcibly moved to Rukumbeli.

The first killings in Rukumbeli took place during Christmas of 1963, soon after the slaughter of Tutsi in Bugesera. Many Tutsi attempted to resist the killings but were unable to.


When President Habyarimana came to power in 1973, the region was marginalised and those living there discriminated against.

No development projects were initiated, segregation was implemented and Tutsi from the region were denied access to secondary and higher education and their movements heavily controlled.

When the genocide started, the region was habited by many Tutsi. Militias were mobilised from neighbouring communes to kill those living there, some of whom had been able to resist previous attacks.

Backed by government soldiers, militia killed the Tutsi who had taken refuge in Rukumbeli.

Because of the geographical location of Rukumbeli (surrounded by militia and two lakes), there was little chance of survival.

Of the approximately 35,000 Tutsi in Rukumbeli at the time, only 720 survived. They were rescued by the RPA which arrived in the region on 5 May 1994.

In Ngoma District, mass killings also took place in Zaza parish, Birenga and Bare parish, Kigarama. The region has seven memorials where today around 60,000 victims are buried.

The Monday event was hosted by the Mayor of Ngoma, Aphrodis Nambaje, and reflected on the events of the 1994 genocide as well as the journey of unity and renewal in Ngoma and Rwanda since.

The Flame of Remembrance was received from Bugesera District by two 20-year-old students, Alice Mukashyaka and Faustin Hategekimana, both from Rwintashya Secondary School.

A children’s choir sung ‘Urumuri Rutazima’ (Never Ending Flame) to welcome the flame. The special guest was Hon. Anitha Assimwe, Minister of State in the Ministry of Health in charge of Public Health and Primary Health Care.

The Governor of the Eastern Province, Odette Uwamariya, also gave a speech before a poem was read by Emmanuel Murigo.

Athanase Mazimpaka, 55, recalled the history of Rukumbeli including how his family and others adapted to the region after being forcibly moved from Gikongoro.

Perpetrator Jean Baragata, 47, who was part of the militia that attacked Tutsi at Rukumbeli, gave his own testimony on the chilling events.

Rwanda is carrying out a series of domestic and global activities to commemorate 20 years after the 1994 genocide in which one million mainly Tutsi were butchered by the genocide regime of Juvenal Habyarimana.


The genocide was stopped by the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) led by Paul Kagame whose government has since turned around the country’s human resource and infrastructure from ashes and blood to economic prosperity.

The Kwibuka Flame symbolises remembrance as well as the resilience and courage of Rwandans over the past twenty years. Carried in a simple lamp, the flame is being used to light other lamps in communities around Rwanda.

To mark twenty years since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, all memorial fires throughout the country are lit from this single Kwibuka Flame.

President Paul Kagame will use the Kwibuka Flame of Remembrance to light the National Flame of Mourning on 7 April 2014, marking the official beginning of the national mourning period to commemorate the genocide in Rwanda.

The flame will also be the source for lighting candles at a vigil at Amahoro Stadium on the evening of the same day.

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