Home NewsNational Narcisse Mulinga, A Genocide Survivor Who Watched The Worst Befall His Family

Narcisse Mulinga, A Genocide Survivor Who Watched The Worst Befall His Family

by Williams Buningwire
9:19 pm

Narcisse Mulinga (R)

When the Genocide against the Tutsi started in April 1994, Narcisse Mulinga was 11 years old living with his family in Bitare village, Ngera sector, Nyaruguru district, Southern Province.

He had both parents, and nine siblings. Four boys and five girls. Only three survived the massacres, that claimed lives of over 1 million Tutsi during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

Then, Mulinga’s father was a teacher at Mukunge primary school and his mother was a farmer.

During the Genocide, Mulinga’s father and his six siblings were killed by Interahamwe militias using grenades, clubs and machetes while his mother was tortured before being tied and killed ruthlessly.

Everything happened in front of the 11-year-old boy whom the killer left for dead, too.

So, they came out from the hide to ask for food from Hutus her mother saw and considered them as friends, unfortunately she was tied and killed ruthlessly.

On 06th April 1994, when Mulinga’s  parents heard about the death of former President Juvenal Habyarimana in a plane crash, all the family members gathered and prayed. They imagined the worst was coming.

On 8th April, Tutsi houses in neighboring villages of Musumba and Rusenge were burnt and the dwellers run for their safety to churches and Mulinga’s parents would also flee to seek refuge in Nyumba Parish, thinking that none would kill them inside the “house of God.”

“They decided to go there because many people had survived by seeking refuge in churches during the 1959 and 1963 killings,” Mulinga recalls.

“On the 18th April, the Chief of Police in the district came along with some policemen and officers to count us and left saying… don’t be deceived, we will exterminate you,”  he said.

Then on the 20th April the Interahamwe militias= went to church and started throwing grenades through the church windows and the killings started from 10PM to 1PM, and that’s how his father died.

“I covered myself with dead bodies until they left, and I started to crawl toward where my mother and three little sisters including the last born were hiding. That night, we left the church and spent the night in the bush,” Mulinga said.

“During the night, my little sister, Kabeyi, slipped way ran back to the church to see our father but she immediately met the militias who killed her on the spot with a club.”

After the death of his mother and siblings, Mulinga started moving alone hiding from the militias. He reached Karama village and the militias had just finished killing and he continued with the journey to Kibeho and Cyahinda villages.

 “In Cyahinda, I entered a church around 7:30pm and found they had just finished killing the Tutsi who were there,” he said.

One morning, Mulinga moved with other neighbors to Burundi. Before reaching Burundi boarder, he met with his elder sister named Mushimire who was then injured with machetes and raped.

“We carried my sister on our backs as we crossed into Burundi and settled in Nyakare village,” Mulinga said.

THey later on went to Mparamirundi refugee camp where he met his elder brother, Kayisire Evariste.“As we were still standing near Akanyaru river, behind us came a lorry full of soldiers from Butare and they started to shoot at us, a bullet passed by my ear and went straight to her heart, so she died. I swam on her dead body and crossed over to Burundi,” he stated.

Kayisire was their first born and had left for Burundi earlier to join Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) for the liberation war.

“He received information that my sister and I were located there, and he came to see us. He took us to our mother’s relatives who had fled the country in the 1960s. After dropping us off, he returned to the battlefront,” Mulinga said.

After the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was stopped by RPA, Mulinga returned home with three siblings who survived.

“It was not easy to come back to a country in rabbles. It was even sad that we did not know the whereabouts of our relatives who were killed during the Genocide. Every corpse I saw I thought it could be one of my relatives,” Mulinga said.

New Family, new hope

A few months after the Genocide was stopped, Mulinga was taken back to school from Pprimary Four and he continued from a level to another until he acquired a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture from the National University of Rwanda in 2009.

This was only the beginning of a journey. Mulinga went to Jommo Kenyatta University for a Master’s in Agriculture, and he is now following his dream at PhD level from Anhui Agricultural University, China.

“I cannot end without expressing my gratitude to the RPF Inkotanyi, who liberated our country and gave us hope to live again. I would also like to thank the family of Kayisire Callixte, who have taken care of me until now. They are the only family I have known after the Genocide and I have lacked nothing under their care,” Mulinga said.

Related Posts