Rwanda landscape and memory Bannon -8558.JPG
“During the wars after 1994, there were so many hiding in the caves. That’s when people started to burn the entrance of the caves and if they wanted to flee there were people waiting for them at the mouth and they were just killed.
Sometimes when people are harvesting potatoes they hide them in the cave when it gets too dark. “Let’s put them here and we’ll finish tomorrow” they say, “no one will steal them.”
In 1998 there was still fighting, those rebels who went to Congo were trying to come back to the country. They came and killed in this area. People were dying and even the cows were killed.
People without money couldn’t afford to flee to Gisenyi. They could only stay and hide.
People had to hide , some of the leaders said “hide in the caves” but one of the leaders told the rebels that people were hiding in the caves.
People died of fire and smoke. they spent five days in the caves eating only what they brought, some rebels went inside with machetes.
And others when there were enough gathered that the rebels lit fires at the mouth of the cave.
We saw cows dying and so many people were killed. We left the gate keeper at the orphanage and we heard he was killed.
This hole. So many people were inside. The community leaders thought they were hiding them but one of them went and told the rebels.”
In April when they are remembering we’ll make a circle and remember those who died. They’ll say the names of people who died in there.” - Musa Uwitizone. Photo By Brendan Bannon March 6, 2014. Mugongo, Rwanda