Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Romain Kabahizi

I grew up in Kicikiro. We had a good childhood and played with the other kids with no problem, but once we got into school, the teacher started asking questions like, “Which of you are Hutu? Which are Tutsi?” All your friends went to one side of the class; you had to go to the other. That was a slap in the face. It felt like, “You're not one of us.” In 1990 the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) attacked. Things got worse and worse. Multiple political parties were allowed then; there was a demonstration every other day and you couldn't go out when they were happening. Killings would often happen at night.

The UN had a camp nearby, in the ETO high school. On 6 April, we went there because we thought we would be in good hands. About a week later, they left. People tried to lie down in front of their trucks, but the soldiers kicked them away. I knew we were going to be killed, so I hid. I saw the Interahamwe jumping the fence. I saw them chasing women and children and I could hear kids screaming. I saw them hacking, kicking and hitting with the butts of their guns. One woman was screaming, “Please, please, don't kill me.” They just said, “Shut up.” One child was crying and they cut him, but didn't finish him off; he was dying, and I could hear all those things.

My parents, my brother and his pregnant wife, and many of my family and friends were killed. Every time I go to Kigali, everywhere I walk, I remember. As long as I live it will be impossible to forget. I can forgive, but I can't forget. I can forgive because that's the way to heal myself, to get over the anger, but even if I forgive it doesn't mean I want to see them walking the streets free as they are doing now. I think the UN failed to prevent genocide in Rwanda simply because we Africans were not that important. The international community could still help with justice. And the International Tribunal in Arusha is very slow. I think people should learn that as long as you acknowledge a problem exists, you can solve it. As long as we ignore things, they are going to keep on happening. I think there is hope for Rwanda. Reconciliation is something we have to achieve, but reconciliation and trust are two totally different things. I can have my Hutu friends again, but I have lost my trust in them. But in the next generation, I want my children to have the trust I have lost. For me, the scars are too deep to heal. It's going to take generations of healing to regain that trust.
-Romain Kabahizi

17 Comments:

At 12:33 PM, Blogger -mike- said...

I'm very sorry for what happened, and I'm trying to educate myself well enough n current events to be one voice against evil. Thank you for the story.

 
At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with what you have said and i am from jamaica and i became aware of the genocide some time in 2003-2004 and i was so shock and saddened that the world turned their backs and allowed such horrow to take place.but as you have said there is forgiveness i thank you for your story and i pray that you may find peace and comfort as you heal.Continue to be strong.

 
At 5:02 AM, Blogger aidin said...

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At 8:59 PM, Blogger benjos87 said...

Romain is my cousin and i feel saddened because his most of his family was killed. Romain could survive because he was very smart. He knew his neighbourhood very well. Everyday he ran for his life dodging roadblocks because he knew he wanted to live!

 
At 7:32 AM, Blogger Kara said...

I am so sorry for your you losses and what has happend. I am a high school student and Im doing a project on the conflict and compromise of the Rwnandan genocide. Thenk you for your story and I would also like to ask a favor. I would like to know if I could get an interview with you it would be great if u could email me and I would just ask a few questions
karra31425@gmail.com

 
At 10:30 PM, Blogger Bayiringire said...

I agree with what you have said may be the interview time was very shot and I know you have a lot to say anywhere I'm also genocide servivor and as you have said we are read for giveness but not to forget but also I will forgive who will ask for it . Ok I encourage you to be allways with postive porpuse for your life and your own country thanks

 
At 11:44 PM, Blogger Charli McLain said...

Romain, Thank you for your account of some of the things that you lived through. It is important to share what happened to you, to make the world look at itself. I am very sorry that you must still see those who murdered, walking free on the streets in your neighborhood. I can't imagine what you go through every time you see someone who did these things walking free. They will probably never be brought to justice in this life. I pray you will find peace. I wish you well.

 
At 11:13 AM, Blogger Team Rwanda said...

How can I connect with your bolg to bring your information to Southern California? I am leading a Christian team to Rwanda in March for 2 1/2 weeks to sever the Rwandan people, but want my supports to be able to see and read real stories from Rwandan's themselves, Please see the blog i have just created at http://team1rwanda.blogspot.com/ and any information you wish. Please pass this blog along to whomever you feel might want to share their story and help our team and supports understand how and what really has happened past and present in Rwanda.

God Bless

Scott Newman
scottnewman@cox.net

 
At 11:17 AM, Blogger Romain kabahizi said...

kaba kaba hi everyone!thank you for your nice comments I have a video on youtube called (believe-kaba) i hope you like it.One

 
At 8:17 AM, Blogger Kayla said...

I'm extremely sorry for what you had to go through. I just recently learned about the horrible things you had to go through. I dont even know how the world let such horrible things happen, but i think you are totally right for forgiving them, and i really respect you for that. I will be praying for you.

 
At 4:15 AM, Blogger SHEMA said...

Im always touched by these testimonies! What happened in Rwanda, there is no word fit to describe! Genocide is simply not enough!Thank you bro Romain, as our zeal is, we have learnt from our past- we cant have this happen again. Forgiveness we can give but forgetting is next to impossible. We only need to pray to the Almighty to give us the strength to put up with those who led to this pain we carry with ourselves.

 
At 4:39 PM, Blogger Romain kabahizi said...

thank you for understanding

 
At 2:42 PM, Blogger antonella said...

So sad! I cannot understand and imagine how it must have felt and continue to feel the pain, terror!!!Just researching on this terrible events, it made me feel terribly sad and very angry. Looking images of many people killed and those innocent children...just fills me with mixed up feelings. Immagine those who witnessed it....those memories will never be forgotten and should never be. Those who lost their lives deserve justice. Since every action has consequences, i wish with all my heart, that those who have killed will live the consequences of their actions!!!!!

 
At 8:51 PM, Blogger RAJ MEHTA said...

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At 8:51 PM, Blogger RAJ MEHTA said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 12:31 PM, Blogger EmmaL said...

I am truly so sorry I can only imagine losing my family and all I can do is cry just dwellig on it. Rely on God and he will give you the strength to keep going. He loves you so much and I know he's is crying in heaven seeing the suffering. I desire to help te genocide whenever possible and I will travel to Africa soon because God has said so. I pray blessings and love for you. Keep healing and talking to God. Ask for his peace and love and to be filled with the holyspirit. He knows it hurts and he wants to heal those hurts. Give them to him and he will begin the healing.
Sincerely,
Amelia

 

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