AUGUSTIN

During the genocide, I was part of the mob that did a lot of bad things in this area. I personally got Appolinarie’s husband from the hiding where he was and brought him to the mobs. I told the mob that I am the one to kill him those others should look for their own Tutsi to kill. I killed him with my own hand.

And when only women and children were left in the area they tried to find a way to flee to Kabgayi. We put a roadblock in their area to kill the boys, there is even a monument in their remembrance in our area. I was the one to unclothe them and check if it is a boy or a girl and hand them over to killers after being sure they are boys; because the mothers had dressed boys like girls to protect them from us.

I took Appolinarie’s 4 sons from her myself and handed them to the killers. All those children’s blood is on my hands because if I had said that they were girls they would not have been killed. Recently I still could hear the voices of the children in my back once in a while.

It was so difficult to ask for forgiveness from Appolinarie after I got released from jail. She is not the only one I offended and I lived in fear. After the workshop she forgave me, but I wanted to also meet her 2 surviving daughters and repent and asked them forgiveness for killing their father.

I feel bad for Tutsis asked us for forgiveness and we never wanted to forgive them, now we are here asking them to forgive us. But what else can we say? May God help them to be merciful to us because we do not deserve anything good.

After I asked forgiveness from Appolinarie we are now well, she trusts me. She even calls me if she has a problem; sometime back she called me when her house was leaking.

APPOLINARIE

During the genocide, Augustin killed my husband and 4 sons. Life changed for me and I felt as if all was finished for me. I was always scared of him; even after he got released things were bad. I did not want to meet him out of anger and hatred.

But after the workshop, I got to know that forgiving Augustin would liberate me. I have forgiven him, now we are good neighbors. But it was not that easy. I am no longer scared of him, I can call him whenever I need help and I know that he will help me. His wife comes to visit me when she can, and we have a good relationship with each other.

 

I know that also my daughters have forgiven him. And if he wants to meet them I will arrange for it. I am sure it will be well.