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Refugees start long trek back

July 28, 1994 Leave a comment

by Guy Dinmore, Reuter News Service
Published: Thursday, July 28, 1994

Tarania Mukandekezi lost her father, grandfather, a brother and sister to cholera in the refugee nightmare of Zaire.

Now she is starting the long trek back home in the hope that Rwanda’s Hutu and Tutsi communities can bury the past, along with the dead, and live together again.”In Goma we were hungry and had no food. Many of us have died. We were 10 and now we are six,” she said Tuesday as she crossed the border into Zaire, eight days after they had fled Rwanda’s civil war.

“We heard on Radio Rwanda it was safe to go back. The United Nations told us to go. We believe the assurances,” she said, balancing her few belongings on her head.

No men have survived in her family. Mukandekezi, 18, was with her sister, three infants and her grandmother Nyiramadonda – a frail woman leaning on a cane who said she did not know how old she was.

They fled two weeks ago from their farm in Ruhengeri, about 40 miles from the border with Zaire, as the rebel forces of the Rwanda Patriotic Front advanced with mortar fire. Read more…

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Rwanda Rebels in Office As Mass Exit Continues

July 20, 1994 Leave a comment

Article from: Chicago Sun-Times July 20, 1994  by: Guy Dinmore

GOMA, Zaire Victorious Rwandan rebels installed a new government in their capital, Kigali, Tuesday, but the promise of peace failed to stem a flood of hungry and terrified refugees into Zaire. “It’s really an exodus of a nation. The whole country is coming out of its borders. We can’t cope,” said Panos Moumtzis, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Since the rebel Rwanda Patriotic Front seized the border town of Gisenyi on Monday the flood of people into Goma has stopped, but a million refugees had already crossed the frontier. Dozens now are dying each day of hunger, dehydration and disease. “People are dying of dehydration left, right and center but we can’t keep …