Jenny Matthews

Bisesero, Rwanda

Simeon Karamaga.1997: Simeon Karamaga (53) at the site of a massacre in Bisesero. The hilltop site was defended against the Interahambwe by people throwing stones but they were overwhelmed when heavily armed Hutu fighters arrived. The site has been turned into a memorial and renamed 'Hill of Resistance' Simeon was one of the leaders of the defence. He says: On 13 May 1994, a large number of militiamen and soldiers from Gitarama, Gisenyi and practically the whole country arrived in buses and trucks. They surrounded us and shot at us persistently. Many women and children were killed that day especially since many were unable to run. My wife, Marthe Nyirahategeka and my seven children as well as my grandchildren were killed that day. The militiamen were always dressed in white and they wore green plants on their heads. They were like madmen. That day they managed to kill many of us. The hills were covered in dead bodies. They returned the next day to comb through the bodies. The militiamen also took away our cows and they gathered everything we had grown from our fields. A small number of us hid in a hole. It was difficult to organise ourselves and we were hungry since we had had nothing at all to eat. Even so, in the evening we all met on the hill to try and raise the young peoples spirits so that they could carry on running and fighting. We had suffered a lot. At night we saw dogs and other animals that came to devour the bodies. During the day crows would come with the militiamen to come and eat the bodies as well.'2014: Simeon Karamaga (71) with two of his children Zaninka Dorothee (8) and Esperance Nyirarukundu (10). He remarried after the genocide and has five children.

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Jenny Matthews
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42.33 x 31.8 cm (300 dpi)
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