The First Lady Jeannette Kagame this Sunday launched the Garden of Memory, a green space located in Nyanza sector of Kicukiro District that commemorates victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
Twenty-eight years ago, a genocidaire government drawned the country into the genocide that killed more than one million innocent Tutsi from April to July 1994.
Every year, Rwanda dedicates a commemoration week to the victims from April 7 to April 13, but the country continues to pay tribute to the innocent victims until July 3, the eve of liberation day when Rwanda Patriotic Front(RPF Inkotanyi) overturned the genocidal government.
“It is often said that a garden is a sign of life,” said the First Lady while launching the Garden of Memory in Nyanza of Kicukiro.
The establishment of the garden started in early April 2019.
In this place, 28 years ago, the UN peacekeepers abandoned the Tutsi at the hands of Genocidaires who exterminated them.
Thus, the garden is adjacent to Nyanza memorial, a final resting place for over 97,000 genocide victims.
“Even though the garden we are launching today enshrines our burdensome history, when you open eyes and see the beauty of this green garden, you feel relieved in your heart,” the First Lady said.
She said it reflects the “Rwanda we have built in the last twenty-eight years which remain even greener during dry season.”
The First Lady addressed the guests who included…and said that among others, there is a need to have a curriculum that teaches the youth about the history of the country which led to the Genocide.
The content of this program would include testimonies of Genocide survivors.
She also said it is important to carry on the battle against genocide denial which fuels ethnic hatred.
“We will oppose the poisoning of our country and the land that feeds this garden,” she said.
The First Lady reiterated Rwanda’s resolve to never cease searching for information about the victims of the Genocide against Tutsi and to celebrate the efforts of those heroes(living or laying to rest) who fought to defend the right of each and every Rwandan t0 live peacefully in Rwanda.
She further explained the meaning of key component of the garden with Umunyiya, a symbol of resilience, the marshland which served a hiding place to many and stones that represent the victims of Genocide, including those whose whereabouts are not known because killers concealed information.
In this speech, the First Lady paid tribute to Genocide survivors.
“May you use this garden to comfort yourself,” she pleaded. “May you use this garden to enrich your knowledge on our history.”
Mrs. Kagame encouraged all participants to join hands with all Rwandans to say to the world a real “Never Again.”