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JEROME IS FULFILLING his father s wish
at the University of Newcastle where he
is studying for a degree in Social Sciences.
This is his story.
I was born into a grazier's family, the
last of nine siblings. I am slim, tall and
brown with a sharp, long nose which
characterises me as a true Banyam lenge
Tutsi. This is a minority tribal group in
the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(formerly Zaire). We shared language,
culture and tradition with Rwandan Tutsis
before the partition of Africa in 1885.
On 12th of September 1994, my father
came to Ngandja, the farming place in
Fizi Territory where he found me keeping
more than 100 cows. "You should go
to Bukavu University" my father told me.
This was the last time I saw him. He was
killed soon after by President Mobutu's
government soldiers. I sold two cows and
got enough money to go to University. On
the way I discovered thousands of Hutus
and Interahamwe Rwandese (participants
in the 1994 genocide) who were targeting
our people - the Banyamulenge. Many of
them were held in detention, thrown alive
Give us our
Refugees: some facts
There are approximately 6 million refugees in 30 protracted refugee
situations around the world. In the last financial year visas were granted for
13,770 refugees to settle in Australia. Resettlement of people in humanitarian
need draws a mixed reaction from our community. On 14 June, Australians
celebrate the beginning of Refugee Week which culminates on 20 June
with World Refugee Day. This is a time to reflect on people, who for reasons
beyond our comprehension, can no longer remain safely in their own country.
Listen and share their stories.
By JEROME RUGARUZA
Jerome in front
of his collage in
the "Room of
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