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LIVING AMONG THE DEAD - RWANDAS' GENOCIDE STORY


Theoneste Bagosora has been found guilty of masterminding the Rwandan genocide.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Thursday convicted the alleged mastermind of the Rwandan genocide and sentenced him to life in prison.
It found Theoneste Bagosora, 67, a colonel in the Rwandan army, guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The tribunal also convicted two other men -- Major Aloys Ntabakuze and Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva -- of the same crimes. The men were sentenced to life in prison.
The tribunal acquitted General Gratien Kabiligi, the former head of military operations, and ordered his immediate release.
Bagosora, a colonel in the Rwandan army, was accused of ordering Hutu militia to slaughter rival Tutsis during a 100-day spree of violence in 1994 which left an estimated 800,000 dead. Prosecutors said he was a key figure in crafting the plan.
Living Among Dead

In 1994 in the village of Nyarubuye, Rwanda, the Hutu majority went on a killing spree in the local church, slaughtering neighbours and friends.

Flora Mukampore lost 17 members of her family and saw her neighbour doing the killing. This is her story.

We thought that no one would dare come to attack us at the church because the church is a holy place . When the killers arrived our men were ready to fight, even though they didn't have any weapons, so they died standing. You would not think that they were all going to get killed because they were very many. We did not think they would get killed.

They all killed their neighbours' wives and children.

All the people they were cutting fell on me because I was near the door. I had too much hair but it all was washed with blood. My body had been drenched in blood and it was getting dry on me so killers thought I had been cut all over.

They thought I was dead. I lay down on one side with only one eye open. I could hear a man come toward me and I guess he saw me breathe. He hit me on my head saying: "Isn't this thing still alive?"

Immediately I heard my entire body say "whaa". Something in my head changed forever. Everything stopped. Afterwards, when the cold wind blew. I woke up. But I did not realise that there were bodies around me. I did not remember what had happened.

I just thought they were normal people and so I slept among them like we had slept before the killers came. Later I heard the girl say: "She is rotten. It's all over for her. Does she look human to you?

" Then I realised that all the people around me had decayed. When they sat me up I realised there were maggots and I started removing them off myself. Can you imagine living with the dead?

At some point God helped me and made me unconscious because if I wasn't, there is a possibility that I would have committed suicide. But, I wasn't conscious and anyway killing oneself needs energy. Can you imagine. People died on the 15 April and I lived among them until the 15 May?

source : CNN.COM

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