Today, I continue my 100 day series remembering the twentieth anniversary of Rwandan genocide. Please join me in prayer for those lives lost and impacted in this tragedy. #NeverAgain. LMH
Over the weekend in Rwanda, an event was held to remember the thousands of women who were forcibly raped during the Genocide. As related by the New Times, one survivor shared the horror of those days in 1994:
Consessa Kayiraba, 56, one of the survivors narrated how she was raped and left for dead.
She recalled how all Tutsi women in the area were gathered at the school and indiscriminately raped.
“Grandmothers were raped in front of their grandchildren while mothers were forced to see their daughters being raped. All the women were murdered following weeks of rape and only a handful of us survived,” Kayiraba said.
“All survivors of the sexual violence were infected with HIV while others live with permanent physical impairment,” she added.
Kayiraba, a retired teacher, added: “After several days of rape, the victims were dumped in the school pit-latrines. It was done hastily because the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) was approaching. Some of us were left unburied and that is how we survived,” she said.
This article took me back to a some of the more horrific images I witnessed at the Murambi Genocide Memorial. Those are memories I’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to wipe from my brain. But when I re-read the article recounting the weekend’s event to commemorate both the rape victims who perished and especially those who survived, I’m reminded yet again that we cannot forget, and we must not forget. Today, twenty years after the genocide, rape and pillaging continues around the world.
We cannot turn a blind eye.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.