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Tutsi Genocide: Plea for Victims of Kicukiro (Part.1)

”  The following is an extract from  my testimony at the occasion of the commemoration of the 15 the anniversary of the genocide of the Tutsis  “

in 1994, I was here, in this place, commonly known as the “Official Technical School of Kicukiro”, or “Don Bosco School“, or even “Don Bosco”.

I had found refuge there and some two thousand other companions of misfortune tracked by killers who were causing death in the surrounding countries in spring 1994.

On the occasion of a previous trip to the native country, I returned discreetly to collect myself in this temple, which for nearly two decades, became the spell of eternal Rwanda. Innocent victims have sheltered there and the demons of death have come to tear them away, atrociously to life. The majority of them died simply because they were born Tutsi.

As I crossed the entrance to the school, I remembered the heavy machine guns that the Belgian soldiers had set up there to protect the refugees against the furious militiamen who were roaming, armed with machetes, axes, and clubs, and who were watching for the slightest Fault to break into the concession, to sow death and distress.

As I approached the buildings, I felt the smell of wet wood and the matutinal rose that refreshed us after a sleepless night of explosions and the crackling of automatic weapons.

The second genocide of the 20 th century had begun. The agenda was not hidden. The extermination of the Tutsi was scheduled. We came from all over the capital, believing that the peacekeepers who were here were going to protect us.

I still remember the last convoy that started on April 12, forcing its way literally, because the refugees were clinging to the last military truck that was closing the march.

The candidates for departure were numerous, but there were few elected. The Belgian, French and Italian soldiers who had come to evacuate their compatriots had their criteria and they did not have to be Rwandans to pretend to fill them.

The soldiers who came here were not interested in the fate of the Tutsi and moderate Hutu who had fallen prey to the extremists who hunted them down like a game.

Venuste Nshimiyimana

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