Monday, January 30, 2006

Thierry's Story

Please keep your thoughts and views coming in. Hundreds of people all over the world are reading this blog each week. This is a great place to get your voice and views heard.

I want to know what you think. Have we learnt from our mistakes in the past or are we just making them all over again on top of new ones? What can we do about preventing genocide? What should we do?

We start this week with a moving account that was written last week and sent to me from genocide survivor Thierry Kagabo.

My name is Thierry Kagabo. During the Genocide I was 14 years old and living in Kicukiro, Kigali. I sought refuge in a convent near my home. I was with my sisters and younger brothers and many of our neighbours also hid there. We were around 30. We arrived there on the 7th April 1994 after our father had been killed.

The Interahamwes came there to kill, we had come here because we thought that we would be safe there. We then spent 6 days there until they came with the aim of killing people on the 13th.

I remember how in one room, as I was sitting there they shot 2 bullets, I remember, I was sitting there; they came down... I believe it was God's hand because it is beyond my human understanding, I don't understand it ! The bullets reached my feet just as they had lost impetus. I was fine and I did not have any problems... When I recall it, I thank God , because it was a miracle, I could have been killed.

They got people to come out of the rooms they had been occupying inside the convent, the nuns had provided us with more than 3 rooms in which to hide. They got us to leave in single file until we got to the road down there.
We all sat on the road and they chose some people who would be taken to be killed.

That is when they said that all the children should go back to the convent... How I personally escaped... I bent over slightly while climbing up the hill and prentended to be a child and ran back to the convent. That's how all the remaining adults were taken to the septic tank nearby to be killed with clubs and machettes.

After the genocide, nothing really bad happened here. Most of us went back to the place where they'd been killed. They were in a pitiful state, the way they'd been buried... everyone was trying to bury them with dignity, we even built a tomb at the place where they'd been thrown.

This place... After the genocide, I rarely come here. Usually when I come here, I think back to the days when I lived here during the genocide, how we lived here...
The place that makes me become thoughtful and sad every time I get there is there, down the road. When I think about the day we were all sat on that road. When I think about the way we were all sitting down, the way they took us from here, in a line... Whenever I use that road, I become thoughtful, I think about the people who were murdered and I feel pain.

Making this testimony available to all kinds of people all over the world is very helpful for me. And in addition to that, future generations will learn from it how bad genocide is.
The fact that Aegis Trust struggles to prevent genocide is something that makes a lot of sense in my life. It helps me a lot.
Personally, I am assigned to teach the youth about the bad things that happened to us so that it may not happen again. I will never forget what took my family away... I know some people are planning for our better future but it's still hard for us to carry on.



At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For sure I can Understand what you are going through because I was there.Now that I'm reading your story, it's like I'm reliving that moment.Keep living because you are wolthy it. God loves, never forget that.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger EmmaL said...

My birthday was January 13th. I've always prayed for God to perorm miracles and he did on my brithday! even though I hadn't known it but I'm glad he relvealed it to me now. Praise God you are alive! I haven't experienced what you have gone through nor how you may feel but God has given me great compassion towards the genocide and I desire to help any way possible. I have cried and cried reading people's life stories and I just can't imagine how hard that would be. Thank Jesus your alive though! There was obviously a reason that he saved your life! you are here for a purpose and a plan! Jesus loves you more than your mind or heart will ever understand and never forget that!


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