A Rwandan Story

Here I am, 60 years old and I’ve already witnessed the most terrifying experience that could ever happen to me, or maybe anyone in the world. Even now 42 years on, thinking about this story gives me nightmares from the past.

It all started when I was 18 years old. Two of my younger brothers had died from starvation and my sister had been poisoned by dirty water. Everyone in my family had been called the same name, it had been in our family for generations. We were all called Diante. Anyway, hundreds of thousands of people were starving throughout the country. I hated the sight of it. Our country was in more poverty than you could ever imagine. We relied entirely on the weather and the growing of our crops. If they failed we would all be among the dead as well.

Water here was nowhere near clean. It could have been the cause of many deaths here-we don’t know. There were only a few doctors in the whole country, let alone in our area. Our lives were in complete poverty and we couldn’t do anything to help that. The few educated men had asked the United Nations to help us, but nothing has ever been done. The population around the country had started to decrease due to disease and famine. There were even talks about a rebellion in southern parts of the country. I couldn’t understand why people would want to do this. I mean, te government are doing all that they can to help us out of this and I have faith in them that they will keep their promise. It may not be in my lifetime, but I am positive that one day we will be free to plenty of food and clean water supplies.

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Although this is only dreaming. Over the next month situations got progressively worse. People in the village that I had known well had died of starvation. Weeks later, our worst fears had been confirmed.

Rwanda had broken out in civil war.

I couldn’t believe it, I wouldn’t believe it. But then again, I had to. There are events in everybody’s life that you don’t like, but you have to accept them. This was one of those events. But I think that millions of people will be thinking exactly the same thing.

The next few days past and more ...

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