Saturday, April 20, 2013

IMMACULEE - RWANDA GENOCIDE SURVIVOR BECOMES US CITIZEN

CISA NEWS REPORT
Rwandan-Genocide-Survivor-Becomes-American-Citizen
WASHINGTON, April 19, 2013 (CISA) -At the end of a process that has taken her 15 years to complete, world-renowned Rwandan genocide survivor and peace advocate Immaculee Ilibagiza became an American citizen the morning of April 17 in New York City.
“I was completely in tears,” she told Catholic News Service in a phone interview April 18. “To be accepted in this country … was like receiving a gift. … I hear my father saying, ‘now you have the right to be here, you don’t have to worry.”
An estimated 800,000 people – including most members of her family – were brutally murdered during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. In the early stages of the conflict, Ilibagiza was sent to hide with a member of another tribe at the behest of her father. “I am here today … because my father had trust in the man from that tribe,” she told an audience of 50 other immigrants who received their citizenship at the same ceremony.
A Catholic, the then-college student endured 91 days hiding in a bathroom from the “killers” who were looking for her. In her book “Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust,” she wrote: “They were … right on the other side of the wall. Less than an inch of plaster and wood separated us. Their footsteps shook the house, and I could hear their machetes and spears scraping along the walls. In the chaos, I recognized the voice of a family friend. ‘I have killed 399 cockroaches,’ he boasted. ‘Immaculee will make 400.’”
SHARED FROM CISA NEWS

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