Genocide Poem

words and music by Suzanne Nyiranyamibwa

I arrive in Rwanda. I loose all sense of direction
It's as if my heart has broken free and my body is drained
While my chest is filled with strange sensations
Wild grass has hidden the county paths
The beautiful hills of yesteryear are covered in ruins
There where children frolicked and played
Are places where vultures now roam
The tears of orphans give you no relief from pain
Mothers have had their children ripped from their breasts
Too many widows trapped between life and death

Ahhhhhh...How am I to manage? What am I to do? Who should I speak to?
Because even he who I might have spoken to exists no longer!

The churches of God are carpeted in dead bodies
Mines have been hidden to kill here and there
You are alive at sunrise but will you be so when it sets?
They herded human beings like troops of cattle
They drove the condemned to their fate

"To be a Tutsi they said was a crime for which death was the only suitable
punishment. The Hutu that refuses to kill is not worthy of life. As an
accomplice he must also die."

Of his family only a handful of unfortunates remain
They had appalling fun at their expense
They stripped them where they lived in broad daylight
The path to the place of execution was just like Golgotha
They mutilated them atrociously without fear of reprisal or remorse
Proudly boasting of their skills
Those that escaped the machetes were clubbed to death.
"If you want to be shot you have to buy the bullet first"
And if you have not enough to bribe your way to freedom
Your only choice is to be hacked to death
The reality of the abomination was worse than the most accursed prophesies.

Their master plan was the eradication of a race
Your mother was wrong to bring you into the world
Even the innocent smiles of our babies didn't soften their hearts
I implored heaven that I would wake and all could be revealed
As a nightmare, but in vain
All remained implacable reality
As I didn't know what to do with my tears
I silently swallowed them

Our people are now in the hands of Imana
Save us from desperation for it is unhealthy
Together let's fight hate and triumph over misery.

from the book "Rwanda Nziza", 2005
by Gilles Tordjeman, Thierry Mesas, Faustin Kagame



Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~