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NYAMATA, Rwanda — She had her hand chopped off, her head bludgeoned and saw her 9-month-old daughter split in two, but 25 years later, 48-year-old Alice Mukarurinda and the man responsible for cutting off her limb, Emmanuel Ndayisaba, are now good friends.
The two have preached the need for forgiveness and reconciliation that has encompassed the central African nation in the last quarter-century since one of the worst human rights atrocities in world history took place — the genocide against the Tutsi.
April - Alice - Husband - Hundreds - Thousands
In April 1994, Alice and her husband were among the hundreds of thousands of Tutsis left to die after being beaten, hacked, speared, burned, smashed or shot to death by mobs of angry citizens and security forces driven by an extremist ideology pushed by officials in Rwanda’s Hutu-led government.
The goal was to “exterminate” their social class. Many were killed by their neighbors and friends they thought they could trust.
Brothers - Sisters - Christ - Propaganda - Majority
Although they were brothers and sisters in Christ, toxic propaganda incited the majority Hutus to try to completely drive the minority Tutsis (portrayed socially as tall, wealthy cattle herders favored by Belgian colonists) into extinction.
As the strong majority of the Rwandan population is uneducated, the ideology spread through propaganda radio broadcasts and newspapers. It corrupted the minds of many Hutus, including church leaders. Others were coerced into participating out of fear of their own lives.
Span - Months - April - Percent - Country
In the span of three months beginning in April 1994, it is estimated that as many as 1 million were killed in the 90 percent Christian country with many of them massacred inside churches.
Most were Tutsis and others were moderate Hutus who refused to participate in the extermination of Tutsi "cockroaches" that the government at the time considered to be fake Rwandans.
Alice - Husband - Harm
Fortunately for Alice and her husband, they survived despite the physical harm they suffered. However, their...
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