Rwandan genocide survivor brings story to Fowler

Feb 25, 2015

Immaculee Ilibagiza

Nearly 21 years ago, an airplane carrying Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down, killing all on board. The crash ignited a four-year-old Rwandan civil war into what would become the Rwandan Genocide, a mass slaughter of Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority.

During the approximately 100-day period from April to July 1994, an estimated one million Rwandans were killed, as much as 20-percent of the country's total population and 70-percent of the Tutsi then living in Rwanda.

Perpetrators came from the ranks of the Rwandan army, the National Police, government-backed militias and the Hutu civilian population.

Immaculee Ilibagiza was a teenage Rwandan Tutsi in 1994. Her entire family was murdered during the tragedy. In the years since, Ilibagiza has traveled the world telling her personal story of a world gone mad. She comes to Michigan this Friday and Saturday to present the seminar, "Treasures of Our Faith: A Weekend of Healing and Hope" at Fowler’s Most Holy Trinity Church.

Current State’s Peter Whorf talks with Immaculee Ilibagiza about those dark days and what’s happened since.