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Last Updated: Friday, 2 April, 2004, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
'Living among the dead'
Flora Mukampore
Flora Mukampore
In 1994 in the village of Nyarubuye, Rwanda, the Hutu majority went on a killing spree in the local church, slaughtering neighbours and friends.

Flora Mukampore lost 17 members of her family and saw her neighbour doing the killing. This is her story.

We used to go to church with them and they taught us together that committing murder is a sin and God punishes those who kill.

We thought that no one would dare come to attack us at the church because the church is a holy place.

[When the killers arrived] our men were ready to fight, even though they didn't have any weapons, so they died standing. You would not think that they were all going to get killed because they were very many. We did not think they would get killed.

Drenched in blood

My neighbour Gitera was there. Imagine someone leaving their home, knowing the possible victim's name and their children's names.

Gitera Rwamuhuzi who took part in the Rwandan genocide
Read the story of Gitera Rwamuhuzi, who took part in the massacre at Nyarubuye

They all killed their neighbours' wives and children.

All the people they were cutting fell on me because I was near the door. I had too much hair but it all was washed with blood.

My body had been drenched in blood and it was getting dry on me so killers thought I had been cut all over. They thought I was dead.

I lay down on one side with only one eye open. I could hear a man come toward me and I guess he saw me breathe. He hit me on my head saying: "Isn't this thing still alive?"

At some point God helped me and made me unconscious because if I wasn't, there is a possibility that I would have committed suicide
Flora Mukampore
Immediately I heard my entire body say "whaa". Something in my head changed forever. Everything stopped.

Afterwards, when the cold wind blew. I woke up. But I did not realise that there were bodies around me. I did not remember what had happened.

I just thought they were normal people and so I slept among them like we had slept before the killers came.


Later I heard the girl say: "She is rotten. It's all over for her. Does she look human to you? "

Then I realised that all the people around me had decayed.

When they sat me up I realised there were maggots and I started removing them off myself.

Can you imagine living with the dead? At some point God helped me and made me unconscious because if I wasn't, there is a possibility that I would have committed suicide.

But, I wasn't conscious and anyway killing oneself needs energy. Can you imagine. People died on the 15 April and I lived among them until the 15 May?

Panorama: The Killers was broadcast on BBC One on Sunday, 4 April 2004 at 2215 BST



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