On Saturday 27th April 2019, Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB), held the 25th Commemoration of the victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi who were staff of former Institutions that were merged into RAB. The event took place at RAB-Rubona Station in Huye District, which was the head office of ISAR before and during the genocide.
During this commemoration event, 11 newly recovered bodies of genocide victims were laid to rest in the memorial at ISAR Rubona.
According to Patrick Karangwa, the Director General of RAB said that RAB-Rubona Station was one of the ten main agriculture centres in the country by the time of the Genocide in 1994 and it had experts in the profession who should not have participated in the killings.
“Despite being learned, they failed to have humanity, so they killed innocent people, including their colleagues with whom they worked, as well as neighbours of the institution,” he said.
Jean Damascene Bizimana, the Executive Secretary of CNLG, said: “We chose some sites to help people think about the history, and see how different institutions can do more in protecting and building a better country.”
Bizimana said that leaders of the Rubona Agriculture Centre took part in the genocide yet they ought to have been exemplary figures.
“They were called ‘learned,’ yet they were at the forefront of the Genocide. Even some top leaders of this agriculture centre took part in the slaughter,” he said.
“In organising the Genocide, the role of the elites is seen at all levels.”
He cited the example of the Catholic priests who wrote to schools and seminaries in 1973, asking them to limit the number of Tutsi in these institutions to only 20 per cent.
“This instilled a bad spirit in schools, and Hutu students started harrassing Tutsi counterparts; chasing them out of school, mistreating them, and killing them,” Bizimana said.
All who spoke at the event condemned the role played in the genocide by some of the former employees of this institution that was considered a stronghold of intellectuals, in planning and perpetrating the genocide against the Tutsi.
In her testimony; Marie Beatrice Murekatete who was employee of ISAR, Karama station when the genocide begun, recounted the ordeals of genocide in both Karama and Tamira stations.
She recalled the role played by some of the extremist co-workers who conspired in massacres of their colleagues and instigating hatred against the Tutsi. This, she recounted was supported by Charles Ndereyehe Ntahontuye, then Director General who once order a station Director to write a tract that was instigating hate against Tutsi workers.
After her testimonies, there was also testimonies by Uwiragiye Bibiane, Mukasekuru Josée, Mukayigire Assoumpta and Ngabonziza Jean Pierre .They recounted the ordeals of the genocide against the Tutsi in ISAR Rubona station and Mount Rubona hill where hundreds of the Tutsi who had sought refuge in ISAR Rubona were slaughtered.