Saturday, March 7, 2009

A short story of a woman

A Rwandan Tutsi woman Jeanne's story as written for the Women and War Project:
…On 18th May, four heavily armed soldiers knocked at the gate and took me back to my deserted home. They asked me, 'Is this your house? Do you love it? Now choose the best room where we can shoot you from.' I knew my day had come because they looked like hungry lions. Filled with anger, one of them opened the wardrobe and ordered me to enter and be killed.

Another opened a big envelope and found our marriage photo. He saw my husband Dr. Guillaume, and remembered him. 'Where is he?' he asked 'We separated when fleeing,' I answered. He dropped his gun. 'We must have killed many useful people who had been good Samaritans to us,' he regretted.

Then he showed us one of his legs that had been operated on. 'I was involved in a fatal accident and the doctors had decided to have my leg amputated but Dr. Guillaume objected,' said the soldier. 'Dr. Guillaume said, 'We shall amputate him if all efforts prove a failure. He is still young.'

'Now!' said the soldier, 'You are the only Tutsi who still survives in this area. Find where to escape to because you won't survive the next group.' I hadn't wept since the genocide, but this time I did because that's when I saw someone having mercy on me.

Rwanda - Since gaining its independence in 1961, Rwanda's major tribes, the Hutu's and the Tutsi's, have battled for control of the country. These struggles climaxed in April 1994, when the controlling Hutu army, the Intrahame (official death squads) and even some Hutu citizens, began killing Tutsi's and some moderate Hutu's in one of the worst genocides of the 20th century. In six months, nearly one million people died before the Tutsi army regained control of the country in October 1994.


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