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Refugee Release Aims At Peace

Sun., May 7, 1995

In another test of reconciliation, about 300 refugees, some suspected of participating in massacres last year, were released to their homes Saturday with a warning to avoid further bloodshed.

The men danced with joy and hugged their warders. Then they set out at a jog to rejoin their families.

“Our purpose and aim today is to bring people together,” said Edward Rugemana, the mayor of Kigoma, where the men had been jailed for nearly two weeks in a school.

The men were mainly Hutu refugees from Kibeho and other camps that were shut down by the Tutsi-led government last month.

Rugemana said they were detained temporarily so that villagers could be instructed to accept the men back peacefully, even though many returnees are suspected of having participated in killings last year.

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