Rwanda's Righteous: The heroes who risked their lives to help others during genocide

Joséphine Dusabimana.
Joséphine Dusabimana. © FRANCE 24

In 1994, Rwanda plunged into a murderous frenzy. In just three months, more than 800,000 Rwandans, mostly from the Tutsi minority, were massacred by members of the Hutu majority. Some Hutus risked their lives to help Tutsis and most were executed because of it. But others lived to tell the tale. Who are these heroes? Why did they make this choice? How did they do it? In this documentary, we meet the men and women who showed humanity during the darkest hours of the genocide.


Amongst Rwanda's Righteous is Froduald Karuhije, a farmer in the village of Shyogwe. He dug deep holes in fields, then covered them up with branches and earth, to allow around 20 Tutsis to hide.

Froduald Karuhije.
Froduald Karuhije. © FRANCE 24

Damas Gisimba, head of an orphanage in the capital Kigali, helped fleeing Tutsis to hide in the ceilings and secret rooms of his orphanage.

Damas Gisimba.
Damas Gisimba. © FRANCE 24

Joséphine Dusabimana (seen in main photo), a bar owner in the town of Kibuye, stole small boats on Lake Kivu to help Tutsis escape at night to an island on the other side of the border.

Click on the video player to watch the full report on these heroes of the Rwanda genocide.

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