Next time you visit Rwanda as a tourist, here’s what to keep in mind

By Bosco Mutarambirwa

Skulls displayed at The Rwandan Genocide Murambi Memorial

Skulls displayed at The Rwandan Genocide Murambi Memorial

Over several years following the genocide, the government of Rwanda allowed Tutsis to exhume the remains of their loved ones from mass graves and to bury them with honors in cemeteries. That was the right thing to do. Meanwhile, the same government prohibited Hutu survivors to exhume their fallen loved ones from mass graves dug for them by the very ruling RPF.

The skulls of those Hutus ended up in genocide memorials that are scattered around the country, and that are ironically dedicated to “genocide against Tutsi”. RPF regime knew exactly where Hutu mass graves were located, all they needed were a few bulldozers and forced labor to populate the memorials with Hutu skeletons.

Today, there are approximately over a million of skulls in those memorial sites. Compare this to the number of Tutsis who perished during the genocide, minus those whose remains were properly buried in cemeteries over the years, and you get the idea. The numbers simply don’t add up. Every day Hutus walk by these memorials and see the remains of their loved ones displayed on shelves for tourists who are deceptively told that the remains are those of Tutsis. This is a psychological torture on ethnic Hutu people that has been going on for two decades now and that has to end as a matter of urgency.

The essentially Hutu skulls displayed in Rwanda’s genocide memorial sites did not come from Biguzi, nor did they come from Gashirabwoba. Those skulls have been transported into genocide memorial sites mainly by road from RPF killing fields such as Byumba, Kibeho, and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo Hutu refugee camps. This is one of the least internationally known aspects of Rwanda’s tragedy. Yet it is something anyone can verify from the average Rwandan who lived in Rwanda at any time during the 10 years or so that followed the genocide.

Usually the exhumation of Tutsi remains was a big deal during the months of March and April leading up to the annual genocide commemorations, but it is no longer the case because – 20 years on – there are no new mass graves remained to be discovered. Exhumed Tutsi remains did not go to genocide memorials. They were properly buried by surviving family members or friends. Meanwhile, genocide memorials were populated with Hutu skulls and sealed a long time ago for tourists.

Yet, none of these tourists would agree to having remains of their loved ones displayed on shelves… like merchandises in low demand. Hutu victims never had the right to proper burial like their fellow Tutsis. It is disrespectful. A government that only commemorates Tutsis and constantly humiliates Hutus does not deserve to be referred to as a government of the people for the people. It is a government of those it cares about, the Tutsis.

It should be known to everyone that RPF regime is built on a dangerous foundation of lies and unpunished crimes which, soon or later, will likely lead to a catastrophe similar or worse than that of 1994.

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