On June 24, 2010, U.S. agents in Manchester, New Hampshire arrested Rwandan genocide survivor Beatrice Munyenyezi, a Hutu and a U.S. citizen since 2004. Charged with lying on her immigration documents to conceal her alleged major role in genocide in Rwanda, Ms. Munyenyezi is also charged with rape as a war and genocide crime.
“If the road would speak, then I wouldn’t be scared, if the birds would sing, then I would vow to never vanish,” wrote Beatrice Munyenyezi, “I wouldn’t be lost in the woods, a place where sound and noise is unheard of, and the sky, the sky is not even there to guide you, to guide me.”
So begins Beatrice Munyenyezi’s personalized account as a refugee who survived the slaughter of millions of people in Rwanda, in Zaire/Congo, and in neighboring countries, between 1990 and 1998—always erroneously defined as “the 1994 Rwanda genocide” where brutality is universally attributed to the Hutu ethnic group and Tutsis are always the only victims.
Ms. Munyenyezi has been transforming her ordeal of unspeakable brutality and terror into a book tentatively titled Life in the Middle of Nowhere: Surviving Genocide in Rwanda and Zaire. It is her version of Surviving the Slaughter: The Ordeal of a Rwandan Refugee in Zaire (2004) a renowned non-fiction book published in Europe by Marie Beatrice Umutesi, a Hutu and genocide survivor.
By Keith Harmon Snow
The author is a war correspondent, photographer and independent investigator, and a four time (2003, 2006, 2007, 2010) Project Censored award winner. He is also the 2009 Regent's Lecturer in Law & Society at the University of California Santa Barbara.
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