Home NewsNational Chinese Embassy, Alumni Contribute to the Housing of Genocide Survivors

Chinese Embassy, Alumni Contribute to the Housing of Genocide Survivors

by Daniel Sabiiti
11:50 am

The Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda during the renovation exercise in Gahanga sector, Kicukiro district. 40 houses will be rennovated

Chinese embassy diplomats, staff, and Rwanda China Alumni Organization (RCAO) community have joined the country to pay tribute to the 1994 Genocide victims as the country commemorates the 30th anniversary of the tragedy.

They have also come with acts of compassion for the needy genocide survivors in the Eastern Province, Kicukiro district where they contributed to shelter efforts.

The Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, Wang Xuekun led the members this May 4, 2024 to officially launch the renovation exercise of over 40 houses in Mulinja village, Gahanga sector which includes 236 Genocide survivors living in 70 houses.

The embassy said that the exercise will enhance survivors’ ability to resist rainstorm disasters and improve the well-being.

This exercise also coincided with celebrations to mark May 4th– China’s Youth Day, a day in honor of the “May Fourth Movement” of 1919, which ushered in Chinese patriotism and democratic endeavor.

In a general community exercise umuganda, the group and residents joined the village occupants to renovate the houses starting by replacing existing old tiles with new iron sheets roofing.

The Chinese community and student’s alumni selected this site to support, following the deterioration in the houses which were constructed with tiled roofing in 2012 as a way of solving the problem of housing among genocide survivors in the district.

For over the last 18 years the houses have been leaking through the tiles, according to occupants and district officials.

The RCAO Alumni Chairman, Theoneste Higaniro said that this is the first outreach to genocide survivors this year but they plan to do similar activities during the commemoration period and afterwards.

“We wish that all houses are rehabilitated as it is in the plans of the district,” Higaniro said, adding that going forward the group will come back to see how the beneficiaries are faring.

Ambassador Xuekun thanked RCAO for organizing the outreach and said that this is a partnership the embassy looks forward to.

“We will not stop fighting for the improvement of the lives of Rwandans and with the guidance of the President Paul Kagame and support of the government we stand together in rebuilding this country because that is a pillar of development,” Xuekun said.

Xuekun stated that the Chinese people are proud to be partner in development with Rwanda and would like to work together for a bright future and bring prosperity to all (Chinese and Rwandans).

Solidarity in Commemoration

The group paid tribute to over 105, 000 genocide victims laid to rest at the Nyanza genocide memorial site by taking a minute of silence, laying wreaths, lighting flames of hope on the graves, an activity that was led by Ambassador Xuekun- who was also accompanied by his spouse- Tao Xiangju.

According the umbrella of Genocide survivors’ associations, Ibuka, the Nyanza memorial located in Kicukiro district, City of Kigali is a symbol of ‘failure of the international community to protect Tutsi’ who were evidently targeted during the genocide.

Following the withdrawal of Belgian troops, the Tutsis in the area were left unprotected and ultimately taken to Nyanza and brutally killed in masses, including over 3,000 who had been brought in from the former Ecole Technique Officielle (ETO)-Kicukiro.

Gilbert Gasigwa, a memorial site Guide said that only a handful of Tutsi were saved by the Rwanda Patriotic Force (RPF) on 12 April (1994).

The president of Ibuka, Dr. Philibert Gakwenzire said that the formation of associations of genocide survivors was to reconstruct the society and this is after the failure of the international community in stopping what would happen- the genocide against Tutsi.

“This is the failure of the international community but for us we have commitment to rebuild our country and we thank you for coming to discuss with us,”  Gakwenzire said, and emphasized the need for the RCAO Alumni to keep in touch between Rwanda and China to promote social economic development of survivors and other Rwandans.

Amb. Xuekun stated that commemoration is very meaningful not only for Rwanda but also the world at large.

Xuekun noted that with the guidance of President Kagame and his government, Rwanda has achieved enormous success in rebuilding the country which has come with sharing the economic prosperity, security and peace.

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