In June 1993 a new radio station called Radio-Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLMC) began broadcasting in Rwanda… The station was rowdy and used street language - there were disc jockeys, pop music and phone-ins. Sometimes the announcers were drunk. It was designed to appeal to the unemployed, the delinquents and the gangs of thugs in the militia. “In a largely illiterate population, the radio station soon had a very large audience who found it immensely entertaining.” RTLM radio station was set up and financed by hard-line Hutu extremists, mostly from northern Rwanda: wealthy businessmen, government ministers and various relatives of the President. Its backers also included the directors of two African banks and the vice-president of the interahamwe
Please listen to the video below. If you heard this how would you respond if you were a Tutis? How would you respond if you a Hutu? Stop listen to video
Radio organizes Genoicde
The killing was so efficient in Kibuye in Rwanda and the surrounding province, where all but 8,000 of its 250,000 Tutsis were slaughtered, that it was known as the "pure genocide". That was in part due to the province's governor, Clément Kayishema, a doctor who took to the radio to urge Tutsis fleeing the marauding "interahamwe" gangs of Hutu extremists to shelter in the town's church.
They soon realised their mistake. The church was perched atop a small peninsula jutting into Lake Kivu. When the killing there began in earnest on 17 April 1994, there was nowhere to flee. Some Tutsis ran to the water only to be attacked by men in boats. The genocidaire tossed grenades into the lake just as they used explosives to catch fish. There were few survivors, one was Lucie, her mother, and her son.
Those who lived were often saved by the decency of others. Lucie and her mother were inside the church when the interahamwe stormed in shooting and cutting away with machetes. As Tutsis fled through the back door some were killed on the spot, including Lucie's grandfather. Others were lined up for execution by men waving nail-studded clubs. By the end of the day 11,500 people had been murdered in and around the church. The next day another 10,000 Tutsis were killed in the football stadium.
But Lucie and her mother were rescued by policemen pretending they were taking them for execution. As they were marched away, Madalena heard a child crying among the vegetation. "We were furious because he was shouting and we thought it would bring the interahamwe," she tells me. "I thought to myself: 'Shut up child. Shut up or die.'"
A policeman rescued the boy. Only later did Madalena see that the child she wished dead was her eight year-old son, Maurice. Today he is an army officer.
Madalena's neighbours hid her and the children until it became too dangerous. After that the family burrowed deep into banana groves and hoped no one would find them. Over the coming weeks Madalena was captured, raped and saved from death by the bravery of a Hutu bank clerk who used his own money to bribe the interahamwe.
Survivor's Story (please watch video below)
Would you have what it took to survive?
The radio told people to go to work and everyone knew that meant get your machete and kill Tutsis."
The graves are not yet full became the slogan for the RTLM.