Lifestyle

Genocide: The touching testimony of the Nyarushishi escapes

Eric Kamuzinzi a residence from Rusizi district is one of the genocide against the Tutsi survivors that has claimed the souls of million innocent Tutsi’s.

At the time of the genocide he was only 13 years old. He says what he saw at Nyarushishi refugee camp was the history that he will never forget.

It is bad memory that still haunts me whenever it comes to my memory lane.He say.

But the nostalgia that sparked all of this is his photo that was taken in 23 years back.

The photo that Kamuzinzi discovered on the Google displays him while seated lonely gazing at the lifeless Nyarushishi refugee camp waiting for the rescuers.

He only recently got surprised that ‘it was his photo’ that was taken by anonymous reporter during genocide at Nyarushishi refugee camp.

“When I saw this picture it’s as if that ‘trail of trials’ that we experienced in 100 hundreds has come back live,”. He adds

Kamuzinzi, a 36 year old recalls the ‘stampede’ and weeping of the dying people being sliced into pieces by the machetes at Kamarampaka stadium now ‘Rusizi stadium’ where they stayed for almost one month.

“We entered in the stadium as a family accompanied by my Mum and Dad and my other 5 relatives. He says at Nyarushishi refugee camp life was nothing but miserable. We would see the day come and night fall with no food, no shelter. We were hopeless. Worse of all, we could not know what the next day will bring,” he say.

“I myself manifested the way how Interahamwe killers would bring the list of the people who was supposed to die the next morning. They could come and use the microphone to read the names of the victim and immediately they could come out of the multitude and slaughter them at Gatandara, a stream , nearby Nyarushishi refugee camp,” he adds.

Kamuzinzi’s father who was a teacher was also once called on the list one day and succumbed to death too.

“We were standing together holding each other’s hands when they read the list and unfortunately was also mentioned as among the people to be killed. That’s the last day I saw him,” he says.

At only 13 years Kamuzinzi who was older among other 5 siblings and his mother continued to live a panicked and struggling life at Nyarushishi refugee camp that was hosting 100,00 Tutsi refugees until 16th June, 1994 when the few of his brother and him were being rescued by the RPF Inkotanyi.

He say the life at Nyarushishi refugee camp was very tragic and hardly to forget. “Interahamwe could burn people alive whenever caught going outside the camp to collect firewood. We were only obliged to survive on the posho brought by the Red Cross. Despite, they would give us the medicine and fire wood to use for us to survive in a half-life.

The picture shows the saddened boy seated near refugee Kamuzinzi was viral on social media and Google for long until the owner discovered his past.

“That was our mood whenever we were waiting someone to rescue us. We would run after every noise of a vehicle hoping to be a rescuer,” he said while commenting on his picture.

“The photo displays me putting on my favourite jacket and the short pant the only clothes I continually wore until the RPF rescue operation from Nyarushishi. Those were my clothes I was putting on at school. And when the genocide took place I could not change the clothes until September 1994. The photo did not only give me a glimpse of the bad past but I was also reminded that I come from far,” he adds.

Kamuzinzi graduated in 2005. He is happily now married and work as a social affair at Rusizi district.

The journey he compared with coming from the zero to hero.

“Despite all that am optimistic about my future that everything will be good in future.Life is experience and I have learnt lessons,” he says. (Source Kigali Today )

The Express News

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