Rwanda Health ministry commemorates Genocide against the Tutsi

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By Our reporter

Kigali, 13th April 2012: A total of about 2000 staff of the Ministry of Health and the Rwanda Biomedical Centre with partners started off with activities of visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, laying wreaths at the graves of the departed after which a remembrance walk and vigil followed.

The commemoration was also held in honour of former employees of the health sector.

Speaking at the vigil, the Minister of Health, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho condemned the atrocities that were committed citing that it is unfortunate that some people who studied the medical profession to save life are the same people who participated in the killings of Tutsi.

“The health sector is a family and we are glad to be able to share these moments with families of our former colleagues. I bring condolences from the government of Rwanda and wish to express that indeed bad leadership and divisionism can lead to such terrible atrocities. As we mourn year after year, we remember our history and the emotion that comes with it makes us more determined to advance progress and rebuild our nation,” she said.

The Minister highlighted the sector’s support towards assisting survivors and commended the development partners for joining in the commemoration events adding that the country also lost international partners in the killings.

Two survivors and former employees of the Ministry at the time, Stanislus Simugomwa and Epiphanie Karangwayire narrated the events of the time and how they survived narrowly.

In his remarks, Simugomwa said that it was hard for a Tutsi to get employed at the Ministry and explained that extremists of the time tortured Tutsis and were always on the move to kill whoever they could in a bid to wipe them out.

“When I look back at way we were treated at the time and the state of fear we lived in, I am only thankful that finally we are free. Looking back at our history helps us to remember how far we have come and make better plans to the future,” he said.

Karangwayire on the otherhand remarked that many Tutsi women were raped and tortured at the hands of the merciless genocide perpetrators and was grateful that the RPF inkotanyi managed to save many of them.

Speaking on behalf of the international partners of the health sector, the World Health Organisation Country Representative, Dr. Dovlo Delanyo noted that they are privileged to be part of the commemorations.

“We join Rwanda in the progress and healing process and agree totally that Never Again!” Delanyo emphasized.

During the vigil, the Health Minister lit candles to represent hope and called upon Rwandans to condemn genocide and work harder to accelerate the country’s development progress.

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