Students observe Rwandan genocide anniversary

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CHS students joined worldwide observance of 1994 genocide in Rwanda

Rebecca Tarr

Concord High School students joined others in recently noting the 20th anniversary of genocide in Rwanda.
The United Nations named April 7 as the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda and held a memorial ceremony in New York on April 16 to remember more than 800,000 victims.
Mass killings started April 7, 1994, after a plane carrying the president of the country was shot down. The president was a Hutu; his death was blamed on Tutsi rebels. Rwanda is home to three tribes: Hutu, Tutsi and Twa.
Kennedy Serukiza, a senior at Concord High, said, he was not born in Rwanda but both of his parents are from Rwanda. They have told him many stories of the genocide. “I feel so bad because we lost so many family members and most of my tribe’s people were killed,” he said.
Divine Mugunga, another senior, was born in Rwanda and came to America at the age of nine. “What I think about the genocide is that it should have never happened but it did and we can never change that, but that made us stronger and now we are working together to make a better living environment and the motto is ‘Remember, unite, renew.’ ”
Junior Irene Ireme also was born and raised in Rwanda. She came to America when she was very young. “When I think of genocide, of what happened in genocide, I’m disgusted by humanity. I don’t understand how people can kill other people just because of the way they look,” she said. “So many innocent people were killed, infants to elders.”
“Americans should be grateful of all the freedom they have here and security that’s provided for them,” Ireme continued. “There are kids who see their parents getting killed over and over again in their sleep every night.”