Welcome To Hell Said The Sign

“WHY have the killings stopped? Because we have overrun most of the country,” says Abby Muvunandinga, the Rwanda Patriotic Front’s young information officer at Losumo border crossing.

In the gorge below, where the Kagera river flows from Rwanda into Tanzania, six bloated, naked bodies slosh in the water — another day’s crop from the killing fields of Rwanda. “Welcome to hell”, says a graffito scratched on the bridge over the river.

Perhaps there is some truth in what Muvunandinga says, because there are fewer bodies now.

The RPF, the Tutsi-dominated rebel army, now controls most of Rwanda after a concerted push to overthrow the majority Hutu government, which is blamed for the slaughter of perhaps 500 000 Tutsis. It is widely regarded as the more “correct” party.

“We do not define people; that’s what we are fighting against,” says Muvunandinga. “I am not a Tutsi. No, I am a Rwandan. We don’t want a South Africa; we (Tutsis and Hutus) are all the same. We have no differences. We have only one language.”

Which means revenge is not on the RPF agenda, he says. “If we wanted revenge, we could have had it long ago.”

There is some scepticism of reconciliatory RPF statements such as Muvunandinga’s.

Bodies still float down the river, and still the refugees, mostly Hutus, flee in their thousands to Tanzania and Zaire.

A UN High Commissioner for Refugees worker recounts how an aid worker was shot by an RPF soldier inside Tanzania. “Why? Because we are helping the Hutu enemy and they want them dead,” he says.

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