Nyarugenge: The Command Centre of the 1994 Mass Slaughter

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

Nyarugenge District is composed of the former Nyarugenge, Butamwa, and Shyorongi communes. During the genocide, Nyarugenge was considered the head of the genocide machinery because it accommodated the Office of the President, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Radio Rwanda, RTLM, and Camp Kigali.

A large number of catholic institutions were located in Nyarugenge and when the genocide started on 7 April 1994, Tutsi fled to St Paul, St Famille, CELA, and Kigali Hospital. Many were killed at these places.

Robert Kajuga, national president of the Interahamwe militia and Kamatamu and Rose Karushara, counsellors of Muhima and Kimisagara sectors respectively were among the perpetrators who played a key role during the genocide.

Prominent Tutsi were selected and killed at Camp Kigali where 10 Belgian peacekeepers were also murdered.


On the night of 16 June 1994, RPA conducted an operation and rescued 1,700 Tutsi at St Paul.

On 17 June, 276 Tutsi at St Famille were killed by Interahamwe.

Nyarugenge District has two memorials. However, a large number of victims from the area are buried at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Gisozi, Gasabo District. 250,000 victims of the genocide are buried at the memorial in Gisozi.

The event was hosted by Mayor Solange Mukasonga and reflected on the events of the 1994 genocide as well as the journey of unity and renewal in Nyarugenge and Rwanda since.

The Flame of Remembrance was received from Kirehe District by two 20-year-old students, Agnes Ishimwe and Christian Tuyisenge Rangira.

A children’s choir from Camp Kigali Primary School sung ‘Urumuri Rutazima’ (Never Ending Flame) to welcome the flame the function where Hon Stella Ford Mugabo, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, was guest of honour.

The Mayor of the City of Kigali, Fidele Ndayisaba, also gave a speech.


Rescuer Damas Gisimba Mutezintale recounted how he ran the Gisimbi memorial and saved the lives of over 400 Tutsi who had taken refuge there during the genocide.

After the genocide, he cared for over 124 orphans including survivor Johnson Mutibagirana who also gave a testimony on Sunday.

When the genocide started, Johnson was in grade two at Ntwali Primary School. He took refuge at Gisimba memorial centre with his cousins and aunt.

After the genocide he was supported by Damas to attend school and university and recently graduated from ULK-Kigali University with a law degree.

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 will be 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 will be 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 7 April 2014.

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