The Rwandan Genocide Begins, Part 1
Oral History Item Type Metadata
When the massacre -- the genocide -- started more openly in Rwanda, that was really starting April 6, '94. That's where the open and the wide -- the very organized massacre of Tutsis and the moderate Hutus started, with lists and the radio helping. That's where the situation started.
A little bit earlier, yes, there were killing all over, but it was not very organized. You could hear an incident in a school, an incident in a bus station, grenades that have been thrown in a market: fifty people killed, a neighbor killed. And that made me think that nobody was safe, especially Tutsi people, and I knew that I have been threatened many times, myself. Then I decided to take my family out of the country.
I planned a visit to a neighboring country, got a visa for that country -- actually, Tanzania -- and got a visa for my wife. And on March 19, '94, I loaded my -- I mean, I put my children and my wife in my car and I drove to Tanzania. It was a very difficult driving, but God helping, I got my family evacuated from Rwanda and I put them in Mwanza, Tanzania; it's a small city on the shore of Lake Victoria in Tanzania. And I left them there and I flew back in Rwanda on April 1; that's when I flew back in the country because I was on a small annual leave.
I went back to work: I was working with the American Embassy. It didn't take long, took just a few days, and the massive killings started. As I had thought that if situation get worse, I struggled trying to flee or to run by myself, that's what I had, that's what happened. I tried to run and hiding in the bushes and valleys and swamps.