Rwandan genocide Orphan reunites with Family after 26 years

Rwandan genocide Orphan reunites with Family after 26 years

A girl who was orphaned at the age of two during the 1994 Rwandan genocide has recently found some of her relatives thanks to the "miracle" of social media.

Grace Umutoni, who did not know her birth name, put up several photos of herself on various WhatsApp groups, Facebook and Twitter in April to see if she could track down members of her family - having failed to find them through more official routes.

All the 28-year-old nurse knew about her background was that she had been brought to an orphanage in the capital, Kigali, from the city's Nyamirambo neighbourhood, with her brother, who was four at the time and later died.

There are thousands of children like Ms Utomoni, who lost or were separated from their parents during the chaos of the genocide in which more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in 100 days.

Many are still searching for clues about their family - sometimes made even harder as families don't traditionally share surnames.

After she posted her photos, a few people claimed to be relatives - but it was only several months later that someone came forward who sounded plausible.

Antoine Rugagi had seen the photos on a WhatsApp group and contacted her to say that she looked very much like his sister, Liliose Kamukama, who was killed in the first days of the genocide in April 1994.

The genocide began after a plane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi - who were both Hutu - was shot down on the night of 6 April 1994, and the killings started the next day.

Hutu militias were told to hunt down members of the minority Tutsi community - and the suburb of Nyamirambo in Kigali was one of the first places to be targeted.

Source: BBC