Asia Watch

Being a Tutsi in Rwanda

Harrowing past: Hotel des Mille Collines in Kigali is a symbol of the African country’s recovery from the dark days of 1994 that left an estimated 800,000 people dead 

Feb 28, 2017
TH21HotelRwanda
Harrowing past: Hotel des Mille Collines in Kigali is a symbol of the African country’s recovery from the dark days of 1994 that left an estimated 800,000 people dead 
Choosing not to reveal their identities is how some carry on with their lives after the 1994 genocide
 
“I can take you to the Mille Collines if you want,” a voice said softly as I enquired in the Indian journalists’ media room in Kigali, Rwanda, about visiting the iconic hotel that had sheltered more than a thousand people at the height of the Tutsi genocide in 1994. I turned to see a tall young man who had helped me with Internet connectivity the previous day.
 
Severn is a Tutsi, the community that was targeted during the genocide. It was with great reluctance that he volunteered to take me, making it was apparent that he did not wish to take the line of questioning further. He and his father had fled to Uganda in the north, while his mother and sister took shelter in Congo just a few months before the three-month bloodbath left 800,000 people dead. He was an information technology professional when we met and his company was providing IT services for the hotel where we were staying.
 
“We were the lucky ones,” he told me. “We left Rwanda before April 1994. (Rwandan) President Paul Kagame had told us it is time we thought of the country and not just what happened. Unless pressed, we don’t volunteer to reveal who we are, Hutus or Tutsis. It is thinking on these lines that brought us to this state.”
 
Read more at: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/being-a-tutsi-in-rwanda/article17383591.ece
 
The Hindu, March 1, 2017

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