|The Avega widows, adoptive mothers to the orphans of the genocide|
Dafrose Mukangarambe, aged 42, in her house in the village of Nyagarambo, in the Gasabo district.
To the end of April 1994, once her husband had already disappeared for several days, Dafrose and her five children sought refuge in the village church, as for most Tustsis of the district. Seeing the interhamwe militia arriving, armed to the teeth, and surrounding the builiding, Dafrose ran out with her children in order to hide in a neighbouring house, owned by a member of the militia. Noticed by him, they were captured and taken to a nearby ruin. Before violenting her, the militia killed her children, from the eldest who was 14 years old to the youngest who was only one and a half years old. The latter, she was holding in her arms, was cut to pieces and given to feed the dogs, before the eyes of Dafrose. Half unconscious, she was then beaten up and trod over, then hit all over her body with machetes, five of them to her face and head, before being raped by several militia and left to be considered dead. She recollected her mind several days later, managed to crawl to an abandoned house, with a water spot, nearby which she remained several weeks. The militia then found her again, noticing that she was “wasting away, worms in her wounds”, they left her, suffering as a martyr, convinced of her death. At the arrival of the FFR forces, Dafrose was taken to the Kigali hospital, where she remained several weeks in order to recover from her infected wounds.
She is unable to farm her plot of land neither to milk the cow offered by Avega, due to her health, but she sorts things out with the other villagers. Ten years after the tragedy, Dafrose holds up incredibly good spirits: “there are far worse cases than mine, I can walk, eat by myself and I have my daughter so...”. Aline, aged eleven, is the child born from the rape. “People do not understand how I managed to give birth to her, they say that it can only be the work of God. And some widows say that God has acted well because all my children were killed...”, she says laughing.
June 2005 – Nyagarambo - Rwanda.
© Pierre-Yves GINET
|Reference : Rwanda-2005-035|
Photograph 31 of 48
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