Healing the wounds of genocide

Healing the wounds of genocide

Twenty years ago, on 6 April 1994, a plane carrying President Habyarimana of Rwanda was shot down.

The assassination set in motion some of the bloodiest events of the late 20th century; over the next 100 days more than 800,000 people were massacred.

Entire families were wiped out; women were systematically raped and children were victims of unspeakable brutality.

Those who survived lived with the horrors branded in their memories. One such survivor is Ruzimbana Methode,

just six years old and living with his aunt when he lost most of his family: “When the genocide started,

Healing the wounds of genocide there was an announcement on the radio that people should stay in their houses.

Then, in the night, houses started getting burned and we started hearing gun shots,” Methode remembers.

“It was then that we decided to leave the house and started hiding in bushes, hills and later in the swamp for two months.”

In the chaos of the killing, families were separated. Nelson, Methode’s elder brother, ran to his aunt’s house to seek refuge with Methode,

Healing the wounds of genocide but they had already gone.

He was captured and killed. Methode’s father and sister hid in the church, hoping it would be safe.

The church was bombed.

His mother was killed as she fled to the hills with Methode’s baby brother on her back.

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