Friday, February 24, 2006

Emmanuel Mugenzira

An account of massacre & Problems with reconciliation

Once a farmer, I got a job at the provincial office but was fired because of my ethnic group. People used to live happily together, but then they were taught negative things – that Tutsi were ‘cockroaches’ and a bad tribe.

After Habyarimana’s plane was shot down, Interahamwe and soldiers started burning houses, taking cattle and killing people. On 16 April, the mayor told us to go to the school in Murambi. We were attacked on 18 April. We fought using stones. They had guns, but left because they couldn’t handle us. On 21 April, a truck arrived full of militia and soldiers. Those who attempted to escape were shot. I was shot in the head, then stripped and left because they thought I was dead. My wife, two boys and three girls all died at Murambi. I just can’t bring myself to talk about them. It took me three days to walk to Burundi, naked in the cold and rain. When I got there, my head was swollen and I had malaria. I was only saved by God. Soldiers took me to the hospital in Kayanza.

There are still people with such bestial hearts; people who killed. You can tell they would do it again. Reconciliation is not the problem. The problem is that those who killed, ate our cattle and took our things run away from us. I don’t know how we can forgive when there hasn’t been any communication between us. There are lots of people like that who look at you and wish you were dead.

-Emmanuel Mugenzira


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