Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mourners Demand Justice as They Rebury Rwandans

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mourners Demand Justice as They Rebury Rwandans

Article excerpt

THE REMAINS OF THOUSANDS of Rwandans were reburied Friday at a memorial service held for them and for the hundreds of thousands of their countrymen who died in the 90 days of tribal massacres that began a year ago on that date.

Bodies were laid to rest, but Rwandans were left with their anger that, a year later, the killers remained unpunished.

"We shall look for these people, whether inside the country or outside the country," said Vice President Paul Kagame, drawing applause. "They must be held accountable, there is no doubt about that."

Kagame also said Rwandans "must be able to understand this sickness" that tore apart their country. "I think it's up to us, all of us . . . to make sure . . . that nothing ever happens again like this."

At least 10,000 survivors of the civil war attended the service atop Reboro Hill, Kigali's highest point.

Mourners carried signs and banners, and wore T-shirts with slogans that showed their anger at the slaughter and the failure of their government and world leaders to punish those responsible.

"To do nothing about the genocide diminishes all of us," said one sign. "Justice delayed is justice denied."

One T-shirt said, "We need to bury the dead, not to bury the truth." The Tutsi who wore it, a man who gave his name only as John, was mourning the loss of his aunt and 11 other relatives.

The remains of John's kin may have been among an estimated 6,000 bodies that were exhumed from makeshift, wartime graves and placed in 200 plain wooden coffins for reburial.

Purple cloths lay atop the coffins, and on them, green wreaths laced with lilies and sweetly scented bougainvillea.

One grave was designated to symbolize all those who died in the genocide. Among those reburied were 13 people whose remains had been identified, including former Prime Minister Agathe Uwiliyingimana and other Cabinet ministers, as well former opposition leaders. …

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