They started to kill people in Congo in 1996, and that’s when the war really started there. Imagine in the morning everything is normal, and then people come to your home and say, “two of your kids are dead.” My mom, my sister, my brother’s wife and four kids. In one day. It was a disaster. The people that killed them were people I knew, because they were my friends. I had so many questions to ask because I didn’t understand. There are many questions that we’ll never have the answers to. We lost 224 people that I knew in my village. It all happened in the church. The people that were outside the church were able to run and escape, but the people in the church were all killed, every single person. All the people we knew there died. After this we had to move. When the war came to the village, we just ran. We had to run. My wife and I ran different ways. I ran with my son, and she ran with the four kids. I ran to the refugee camp with my son, thinking everyone had died. We would be separated for ten years.

When I think about this sometimes, I can’t eat. I have no appetite.

“I have to keep going and I can’t go back. I don’t like to think about it or talk about it because I need to look to the future.”

I had to begin my life outside of this moment, or I would be stuck thinking about this for my entire life.

This war started in ’96 and it is still going on today. People are still dying today, every single day for the last 18 years. It’s difficult for me to summarize how the war was because you can summarize something that has a start and an end, but we can’t summarize this because it’s still happening.


The War: Trapped in Liminality, Fighting for Justice