PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- This Saturday, Portland's Rwandan community will mark the 20th anniversary of their country's genocide. 800-thousand people, mostly ethnic Tutsis, were murdered by Rwanda's Hutu majority in 100 days, as the international community did little to stop it.
Among the organizers of the Portland event is Emmanuel Mungwarakarama, who now lives in Portland. Mungwarakarama was home with his family on April 7, 1994, when they saw the killing going on outside. They all fled.
As far as he knows, he's the only survivor. He lived for weeks in banana fields and in bushes, relying on help from an ethnic Hutu neighbor to survive.
Mungwarakarama said, "I felt empty, empty minded. I wouldn't know if it was Saturday or if it was Monday. I wouldn't know if it was 11 or 10. It was all that. All the noises were just whistles; it was cries. It was -- it was horrible."
The genocide ended when members of a Tutsi-led rebel group took control of the government.
Emmanuel says the commemoration is a way to remind people that these atrocities can never happen again.
"If people can understand what happened, they should do something to stop it, and even take that chance to tell the survivors that they care about them," Mungwarakarama said.
The event is this Saturday at the Portland High School Auditorium from 4 to 7 pm.