Friday, April 15, 2016

Eugenie Mukeshimana speaks about the Rwandan Genocide

This week I had the honor of listening to Eugenie Mukeshimana speak about her experience as a Rwandan genocide survivor.  She was a speaker this week at Bergen Community College, sponsored by the Center for Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation .

She was 8 months pregnant when the genocide began in 1994: same year my own daughter was born. One million Tutsis were killed in just over a month. She talked about the hateful propaganda on the radio and how all citizens had to have their ethnicity identified on their residency cards.   Being a Tutsi was a death sentence.  She was fortunate to find a family who hid her under a bed for weeks.  Even after she was discovered with her baby, the family continued to protect her identity.  

According to Eugenie "Conflict is like a tsunami, it effects everything”.   All traces of Tutsi life was eradicated: the people, their livestock and property.  The small number of survivors in Rwanda continue to live side-by-side with those who slaughtered their families.

Eugenie is the Founder and Executive Director of GSSN Genocide Survivors Support Network

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