Working Hand in Hand

Twenty years ago one of the most devastating genocides occurred. From April 7, 1994 until July, the Hutus killed almost half a million citizens of Rwanda. The Hutus raised a civil war against the Tutsis. Neighbors killed one another, old friends turned on each other, and no one felt safe. When the genocide ended, the people of Rwanda had to try to live in peace and move on with their lives despite the fact that every day they might come into contact with a person, or a location, or something that brings them back to that fateful time when one of their loved ones were killed. It is hard for many to acquire peace, but the government has tried to move on and come to terms with the horrible time. One of the solutions that the government imposed are the Gacaca courts. This type of court system is very informal. Justice is at the victim’s discretion. Even though peace and harmony within the community has not been one hundred percent, the people of Rwanda are trying.

Niyonsenga Erick Rafiki’s father was killed by the Hutus during the genocide. Rafiki was not there when his father died, but now, at the age of 24, he wants to find his father’s body and bury it. His search for the what happened has led him to come face to face with the men who murdered his father. Sekamana Musa was one of the men responsible for killing Rafiki’s father. They now are working together to dig in the locale, where Musa believes Rafiki’s father’s body is. Musa said, “We came together saying these hands we are using are for all Rwandans,…because these hands destroyed the country, we have to use them to rebuild it.”

I think that this is a very sad situation that occurred in Rwanda. I cannot imagine what the people of Rwanda must have been through. When I read Musa’s quote I was very touched by the fact that many of the people who participated in the genocide are now trying to make peace and rebuild the war torn country. What do you think about Musa’s role in helping find the body of the man he killed?

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One comment

  1. The genocide that took place in Rwanda was extremely devastating. So many innocent people were abused, killed and displaced, and the enemy was unknown, because everyday more and more people turned on each other. Rwanda has created informal courts known as Gacaca courts to help acquire peace, but I believe that the courts should operate in a more formal way to help the rebuilding process move faster. However, I do admire the fact that justice is at the victim’s discretion. The story of Rafiki is so touching, sad and inspiring all at the same time. The fact that he is working hand in hand with the man who murdered his father, in order to find his father’s body is remarkable. It shows that the people of Rwanda are moving forward, and even working with the very men who caused them grief, realizing that the war was a result of everyone’s misdeeds. I hope that the country fully rebuilds in the days to come.

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