GENOCIDE: Woman, Anne-Marie Uwimana Tells Moving Story Of Survival, Reconciliation & Forgiving The Man Who Killed Her Children

Twenty-five years ago, Rwanda descended into a civil war on a scale that still shocks the world. Rwanda has always been a tightly controlled society under President Paul Kagame, and the media closely monitored. One of the survivors who lost her four children and husband to the Rwandan genocide is Anne-Marie Uwimana.

However, the most heartbreaking part was that she watched as her neighbour, Celestin kill two of her children, including her oldest son, who was 11 years old at the time. Recounting the unforgettable tragic incident, Anne-Marie told BBC Africa:

 

Celestin and Anne-Marie

“”He was a smart boy. He promised to always look after me and make my life better. He was too good for this world. On the day he (her son) died, as things got worse, he told a friend that he had a feeling that someone was going to cut his neck. When I remember that, I feel like my heart will break.

This man, Celestin came in with the attackers and killed two of my children. They broke into the house. We tried to run away. The attackers had clubs and machetes. Celestin pulled out his machete and he cut the necks of two of my children. I then managed to run away.”

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Blaming bad ideology and leadership, Celestin, who served 10 years in jail for his crime, admitted to killing Anne-Marie’s children. Celestin confessed:

“A child is an angel with no sin. their death was an injustice because of bad ideology and leadership at the time. Those children suffered an injustice and I’m filled with self-loathing.”

Rwandan genocide claimed over 800,000 lives. After the genocide Celestin returned to the village. Anne-Marie said she would go into panic attacks whenever she saw Celestin. According to her, she always felt like he was going to harm her.

”When I saw him, my body went cold, I started shaking. I thought he was going to kill me. When he saw me, he hid his face. We both tried to avoid each other and went our separate ways but my heart was pounding.”

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Then one day, she decided to forgive him after being convinced by a Catholic priest.

“He said you hold the key to freeing Celestin from his guilt and Celestin also has the key to free you too. If you believe this, with the help of God, you will be healed.”

Watch her speak below…

Photo credit: BBC News

 

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