On August 15 and 16, 2009, at the New Hampshire Technical Institute (NHTI), in Concord, NH, the Fifth Annual Gatumba Memorial Gathering was held. This event, which was open to all Gatumba Survivors, with events open to the public as well, helped the Survivors and their families rekindle old bonds and forge new connections, pay respects to those who were murdered, and continue healing raw emotional wounds. Privately, the Survivors, who generally are deeply religious, had the chance to hold services and remembrances of those lost in a peaceful and safe location.
On a greater scale, the Survivors used this event as a platform to pressure the international community to bring these evildoers to justice, to protect the 2,000-plus remaining Banyamulenge from the threat of genocide, and to call for a cessation of violence against all civilian populations throughout the Congo and the Great Lakes Region of Africa. It is essential that the violence against innocent civilians that continues to this day must be stopped.
Saturday, August 15, featured presentations and speakers on the Gatumba Massacre and the situation in the Great Lakes Region, including a presentation by Rose Mapendo, and presented opportunities for people to get involved as a force for change with different types of organizations. It also gave members of the local community a chance to meet and interact with the Survivors.
Click an image to view full size.