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Testimonies
 

 
Paul Bandiyimisi and Rose Kagari
 
"I could not understand how a person could complain about being hungry in such a situation. Even my children, who later passed days without eating, didnít ask me about food. I think that death was calling him."
Paul Bandiyimisi na Rosa Kagari
Paul saved Rose and thirty-four other Tutsi during the crisis. Paul was honoured during a performance in Ruyigi in April 2006, when this interview took place.

Rose: I am originally from Rusasa but I am presently in a refugee camp, not far from here, in Muriza.

Paul: I am from Kiyabu hill, in the Buyongero area.

Rose: The killing stated on Friday, at 3:00PM. We ran away with our families and hid in the bush. At that time I had five children with me and I was pregnant with a sixth. We heard some noise and we thought these were the killers. My children were afraid, but I told them to keep quiet. I discovered it was a relative of my husband. He recognised and called me. He told me he was hungry. He said that they killed all his family and that he was very hungry.

I could not understand how a person could complain about being hungry in such a situation. Even my children, who later passed days without eating, didnít ask me about food. I think that death was calling him. He was wondering aloud whether the killers had taken a break from killing. He continued, "Iím very thirsty. I need to drink some water." Finally he stood up and said he is going to smoke a cigarette.

He was immediately discovered and surrounded by a group of them. They tied his hands. He begged them to let him go, but they refused. One of them, a woman, said "I need to teach him a lesson." They started to beat him until he collapsed. Then the woman asked her comrades to give her a knife. She took it and cut out some parts of his body. It was horrible. I donít know why she did it. I canít even bring myself to name those body parts. The man died. Right there in front of our eyes. My children realised that the man was killed. They became afraid and started weeping.
 



© Burundi Voices Project, 2006.