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Africa

Security beefed up for genocide commemorations

Video by Guillaume COUDERC , Florence VILLEMINOT

Latest update : 2009-04-07

Rwandan police have beefed-up security around known survivors of the country's genocide, on the eve of commemorative events marking 15 years since the atrocity. A spokesman said police would act "instantly" in the event of violence.

AFP - Rwandan police said Monday they had beefed-up security around identified survivors of the country's genocide, on the eve of commemorative events marking 15 years since the largely Hutu atrocity.
   
"Significant security measures have been put in place to safeguard the well-being of survivors," said Mary Gahonzire, the acting police chief.
   
"We have located areas inhabited by suvivors of the genocide throughout the country... Police are ready to act instantly in the event of a crime being reported."
   
The head of the country's main genocide survivors' association, known simply as Ibuka, warned however that security was "not totally guaranteed, despite government assurances."
   
"Genocide survivors are still being massacred in Rwandan interior regions," he said. "You cannot hush up these killings by attributing them to the settling of scores within clans."
   
At least three survivors had been killed recently, their bodies thrown into the southern Nyabarongo river, he added.
   
Rwanda has chosen a symbolic location to commemorate the anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi minority and highlight "the bankruptcy of humanity" during the 1994 massacres.
   
Tuesday's national ceremony will take place in Nyanza, a hill in Kigali where thousands of people were slaughtered on April 11 after the Belgian UN contingent that had been protecting them pulled out.
   
Belgium had decided to pull its troops out after 10 commandos from the UN force were killed by forces from Rwanda's regular army.
   
According to Ibuka, more than 5,000 people -- men, women and children mainly from Rwanda's Tutsi minority -- were hacked to death by extremist Hutu militias in Nyanza.
   
Kigali has repeatedly accused the world of not doing enough to hunt down genocide perpetrators still at large -- and some nations, notably France, of failing to acknowledge their role in allowing the killings.
   
Hundreds of suspects sought over their involvement in the killings are living in countries such as France, Belgium, Canada, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
   
The small central African country's criminal investigations department said that 2,178 cases of murder, torture and intimidation of genocide survivors had been recorded since 2007.

 

Date created : 2009-04-07

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