Whilst in Rwanda last month I visited the Kiziguro memorial site, which is centred around a manhole in which lay 3,000 victims of the genocide whose bodies were dumped there after a mass slaughter in Kiziguro Parish.
I was requested to visit the site by Immaculee, a genocide survivor who sought asylum in the UK in 1994, following the killings in which she lost her parents, two brothers and many relatives. In her original email to me, she wrote:
The reason I am writing is to ask you for some assistance. I returned to Rwanda in December 2010 for the first time since the genocide, and went to see where my parents were buried. I am not sure about my father, but my mother, one brother, my cousins and some friends were put in a mass grave in Kiziguro Parish. People have managed to put a fence around it, a gate and a 2 square meter small house on the top of the grave, but I am trying to raise some money to write the names (somewhere near the grave /within the compound) of all the people who were killed in the church and were then thrown into the mass grave. I cannot afford it on my own; I have even been looking for a weekend job, no luck. I genuinely need some help and SURF’s assistance. It upsets me because entire families are in the grave and it hurts to think that they will be forever forgotten some day.
As such, SURF is planning to raise funding to erect a memorial wall on which the names of all the victims will be featured as well as to establish a fund to support the 7 survivors who were pulled out of the manhole by the liberating RPF, who are still alive today but living in extreme poverty.
The cost of the memorial wall is £3,000. We have set up a dedicated fundraising page for this appeal, so donations can now be received directly online here.
The appeal is particularly timely, as the mastermind of the massacre, Augustin Nkundabazungu, appeared in gacaca court last week . He has already been sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia, but will now face justice after being arrested in Uganda and extradited in August last year.