Time: 19 years

Close to two decades  have now passed since the start of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda.  As years go by, Survivors mourns and keeps the memory of their beloved ones in various manner.   Commemoration and remembrance remain critical characteristics of satisfaction  that is available to survivors. This is in turn a significant ingredient of Reparation.

To many survivors of genocide  including Thomas Habimana who authored the Poem Below, Genocide is a past that shall never pass.  The author describes the plight of survivors and  the  pervasive pain they endure by carrying the memory of genocide .

The pain is too deep to ignore. The wound is too fresh to patch over

While Thomas remembers Genocide  as if it  Happened  just 19 days ago, In this poem he confidently  echoes the message of resilience and hope. .


Time: 19 Years  By Thomas Habimana

It’s been that many years
But we all remember like if it was 19 days
All  of us has to carry the pain in our hearts
But it feels like each of us is carrying the entire load million times heavier, alone.
Pain, we share it
But pain each of us suffers like if we are alone in this
Tears over our loved ones are still fresh on our faces
They are still dripping on our cheeks
They are still warm down the nose
They are still dripping in abundance from chin to the ground
Chest and closes wet
And 19 years later our eyes are not dry yet!
Our pain is not relieved yet
Our suffering is not tended to at all
19 years ago nobody cared
19 years later many are still wondering
19 years ago the world closed their doors and ears to ours
19 years later the Tutsi genocide is still a polemic hot issue among the courts and politicians
But we the victims and the survivors
We know what befell us
We will never be confused
We will never stop reminding the skeptical
We will never stop fighting for ours
The pain is too deep to ignore
The wound is too fresh to patch over
As May takes over from April
We remember that the streets are flooded with rivers of cooling fresh blood
We remember that lakes, creeks,  and rivers are blocked with piles of dead bodies
We remember that roads and churches are blocked and packed with rotting corps
We remember that ours that are still alive are hiding in latrines and swamps
We remember that those still alive
Are dying with hunger if not by machetes
We remember that they are in a prison as large as Rwanda
Waiting to be murdered like mad dogs
And we remember that
19 years ago today the world refuses intentionally to even talk about it
But we will talk about it for the rest of our lives
We will write about it for our next generations
We have been wronged
But we will not keep our heads down anymore
We are a proud people
They may hate us for it
But that’s what keeps our heads high
That’s what keep our future promising
We were proud when we were born
We will be proud when we will depart from this world
Like ours died proud
As we remember our loved ones
Who left prematurely
Whom we never had a chance to say goodby to
Let’s make them proud
Let’s promise them to never forget
I will never forget
So shouldn’t you.
Ever! Ever! Ever!
Ever! A million times!
So help you and me God

Posted by Albert Gasake

Categories: Uncategorized

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