The weeks


Rwanda has begun the yearly national mourning week. It's 18 years ago the genocide started and the mourning culminates on the 7th of April, the official date for the beginning of the killings. Again this year more bodies found since last year will get a decent burial. It is actually a sad week to be in Rwanda. TV, radio, newspapers are all full of stories about what happened in 1994. Really depressing, but necessary for the country never to forget what it went through the 100 days the killings lasted. It is not everybody who favors the occasion. Some people, especially the killers who are now out of prison, doesn't like to have it rubbed in their face.

The picture shows some of the alleged killers having a bath in the Central Prison, Kigali. I spend two days inside the walls. At that time, November 1994, there were around 8000 inmates in a prison build to house only 750. So to call it crowded is an understatement. It was a scary assignment in some ways. There was a section of the prison where you had the really hardcore Hutu Power guys. Killers for sure and they didn't really liked me being there. I were by myself, no guards at all. The guard had just opened the gate from outside and in I went. The gate being locked behind me from outside.
When I came to the hardcore part of the prison yard, the killers started to whistle. The same as they did in 1994 at the roadblocks whenever they saw people they wanted to chop to pieces. I had witnessed them in action in Kigali, April 1994, and the sound will always be fucking frightening in my ears. Did I get scared that day in November? Oh, yes for sure! These guys had nothing to lose sitting inside a prison having killed many people. So why not kill me just for the fun? I stayed around them for some more time just to show the assholes I was not scared. Then I went to another part of the yard.

Today most of the murderers are out of prison. Yes, there's still quite a few inside, but compared to 1994 it's nothing. I haven't been back to the prison in Kigali since. And I don't miss it.

Remember 1994, please. Have a good and joyful week.