In Rwanda, Reconciliation Is Hard Won
On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the genocide, villagers in the countryside struggle to forgive the unforgivable.
The Tutsi residents of the village of Jabiro, which occupies the spine of a hill in the Muhanga District in Rwanda’s southwest, had heard rumors about bands of men coming from the capital, Kigali. They’d known of the Hutu-only rallies held in the district. But they didn’t grasp the reality of what was happening until the third week of April 1994, when they began hearing screams coming from the villages on neighboring hills. Black smoke rose into the sky above nearby farms. Then the screams grew louder, the smoke thicker.
On April 23, the killers arrived—buses full of men. At first they claimed they were looking for fighters with the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the Tutsi-led rebel