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Rwandans: a reeducation in how to live together

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The country officially banned the ethnic labels "Hutu" and "Tutsi" five years ago, but observers say the legacy of genocide isn't as easily overcome, and suspicions between groups linger. Confessed genocidaires have returned from prison, and former members of a Hutu militia have come home after fighting in Congo. Amid these returnees, Tutsi survivors have come forward to testify before local courts, called gacaca, about who killed whom. Considered a civic duty, testifying can be risky: In recent years, 17 survivors were killed, including one gacaca judge, in what survivors fear are acts of reprisal for bearing witness. Still, most find ways to accept, if not welcome, returning Hutus.

"I give a lot of credit to survivors that, rather than seek vengeance, are finding ways to come together with their former neighbors," says Mr. Longman, who has been working in Rwanda for more than 20 years. "Survivors really are the group taking the lead in reconciliation."

The search for justice

"When you give testimony, and he gets out, at some point you are scared," Ms. Uwimana says. She and her 80-year-old mother live alone in a small house near Rwanda's capital, Kigali; Uwimana's husband died just before the genocide, and her son goes to school about an hour-and- a-half away. If she were to face any danger, she would face it alone.

"Me, I'm not scared," she insists. "I trust God to protect me. I didn't lie about what he did. And he accepted it."

"He" is the man who shot her. He was with the militias who came to her home, forced her and 10 family members outside, shot them, and threw them into a makeshift mass grave. Uwimana, and her mother and sister, managed to survive and crawl out of the grave, but she doesn't remember anything else about her survival.

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