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Pamphile Ndarugirire
 
"On Sunday we learned that there were plans to kill the Tutsi on the next day. So early on Monday morning we rushed them quickly to the main road, where they able to catch a bus to safety in Kibimba."
Pamphile Ndarugirire and Jean Marie Ndayishikaniye
Pamphile and other people from his village saved 38 Tutsi during the crisis. When angry Hutu sought to punish Pamphile, he and his family turned to Jean Marie and were rescued by him. Both men were honoured during a performance in Rutegama, in April 2006, when this interview was conducted.

Pamphile: I am from Nyarunazi area, in Rutegama commune.

Jean Marie: I am from Nyarukere, in Nyakivumu area, in Rutegama commune.

Pamphile: This area was predominantly Hutu. When President Ndadaye was killed, Hutu in this area began to attack the Tutsi. The provincial Governor of that time ordered the local Administrator to cut trees to block the roads and to kill the Tutsi. We didnít know this at the time. Some Tutsi who were here were captured and killed. Others were able to reach us to ask for help. There were 38 of them including children. We hid them in the bush.

One of the women, Daphrose, was injured. Her baby was crying. This would put them at risk of being found. My wife took her baby child and carried him on her back.

Hutu killers came looking for the Tutsi we hid. We told them to search in the bush, but we sent them in the wrong direction. They were misled and the Tutsi were saved. We hid the Tutsi for four days: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

We went to the local Administrator to ask for his assistance with the people we have rescued. He assured us that he will protect them. He asked us to bring them out of the hiding spot in the bush and to keep them together. Instead, of helping us he betrayed us.

On Sunday we learned that there were plans to kill the Tutsi on the next day. So early on Monday morning we rushed them quickly to the main road, where they able to catch a bus to safety in Kibimba.
 



© Burundi Voices Project, 2006.