Moral Courage



Tour Diary


Evariste Bindariye
"We were in hiding. People around there were looking for a way to kill us."
Evariste Bindariye and Jacqueline Nkurikiye
Evariste saved Jacqueline and many other Tutsi during the crisis. Evariste was honoured during a performance in Ruyigi in April 2006, when this interview took place.

Evariste: I am from Nyaburondwe, Ruyigi province.

Jacqueline: I'm from Gikwiye. I now live in a refugee camp in Butaganzwa, Ruyigi province.

Evariste: One day, shortly after the crisis started in 1993, I saw Tutsi children running. They were trying to reach Gabriel Maregeya's house. They were stopped by armed Hutu in front of my house. It was clear that they wanted to harm them. I recognized the children, so I stepped out to defend them. "What are you going to do them?", I asked the men. "Let them go. Do you think that they killed President Ndadaye in Bujumbura? It's not their fault."

The children were allowed to go. I brought them to Maregeya's house. His wife was there and she took care of them. Some days later, the childrens' mother asked me to help them reach Ruyigi, the provincial capital, where it was safer for Tutsi. I helped them to get there.

Some days later another Tutsi woman asked to my neighbours to hide her. They refused to help. She came to me. I agreed to protect her and she stayed with me for three months. I then asked the lady if she knew whether Jacqueline's family was still alive. I knew them because I taught her brother about catechism and I was a friend of hers. The woman said they were still alive. They were all hiding in a house on another hill. But she was worried that it was unsafe for them there and that they might be discovered by killers.

Jacqueline: We were in hiding. People around there were looking for a way to kill us.

Evariste: Although I was not well at the time, I felt I must go there and rescue them.

© Burundi Voices Project, 2006.