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Rwandan ‘genocide hero’ dies

A Rwandan woman who saved the lives of more than 100 people during the 1994 genocide has died.

Zura Karuhimbi was reported to be 93, although some suggest she was more than 100 years old.

Her husband and several of her children were killed during the genocide but she deployed unusual methods to protect the sheltering civilians, most of whom were ethnic Tutsis, from Interahamwe militiamen.

An estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed during 100 days of bloodshed in 1994.

Mrs Karuhimbi, a Hutu, hid dozens of people in her mud walled home in Musamo village – among them babies rescued off the backs of their dead mothers.

She said militiamen had surrounded her home waiving their machetes and insisted on searching inside.

But she had her own weapon – her reputation as a traditional herbalist.

The Interahamwe were scared of the herbal concoctions and were convinced she could put a curse on them so they fled.

For her extraordinary bravery President Paul Kagame later awarded her Rwanda’s Medal of Honour.

SRC : BBC AFRICA Live

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