February 19th, 2008
01:59 PM ET
15 years ago

Producer's Notebook: Remembering Rwanda's genocide

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/19/art.rwandapics.cnn.jpg caption="Pictures of the dead hang in a memorial that President Bush visited in Rwanda."]
(CNN) - My first visit to the Kigali Memorial Center in Kigali, Rwanda, and within moments we were introduced to Freddy Mutanguha, the Center’s manager. Both museum and resting place, the Center estimates that approximately 250,000 souls were dumped into mass graves that remain on the property. Freddy, a well coiffed, sweet natured fellow, calmly led a small group of press through the first floor of the museum’s exhibit. We walked by large display panels with titles like “The Path to Genocide,” “The One Hundred Day Genocide,” and “The Aftermath” as Freddy explained in a very matter-of-fact way the events that led up to Rwanda’s four month killing spree.

Our tour wrapped quickly, as Freddy was only moments away from giving the same private talk to the First Lady and President Bush. But there was one more area that he wanted to show us. Our group was escorted into a large anteroom where family snapshots hung casually on thin wires, covering much of the walls inside.

As we stood rooted in awe, Freddy mentioned in a soft voice that his father’s snapshot was included in this exhibit. Turning around and without missing a beat, Freddy went on to say “and my mother, she used to be here too…. Ah, there she is…” as his voice trailed off he pointed to a gorgeous photo of a beautiful woman only inches away from her husband’s. He went on to explain that he had lost four sisters in the genocide as well, but their pictures were no longer a part of the exhibit. There are just too many to hang.

Related: Bush tours Rwanda genocide memorial

–CNN White House Producer Erika Dimmler

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Grif

    As I've said before. History repeats itself. The hutu were the people that were beaten on in the early 1900, under the so-called Belgian King Leopold the third. who used the Tutsi as a way or ruling Rwanda , and the rest of the Belgian Congo. So the 1994/5 killings, were a just another Tit-for-Tat, as what is happening in Kenya, with the Kamba, Luop and the Kikuyu, ( who is the larger). Bantu! Only they, the whole of Kenya's people, inc the Masaai...They all live there.

    Moi! Ruined it for most of them, after Kenyatta. Now a new guy??
    Uhuru for all, as was the call in 1963..

    February 19, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. matt in wa

    under the watch of the most powerful nation in the world... so sad.

    February 19, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  3. O8

    would you please send a link or how to contact the people who has this, I like to contribute!! thank you.

    February 19, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  4. Phil

    We can all thank Bill for this one.

    February 19, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |