Richard Wilson’s sister was murdered, and her killers showed no remorse. Could he forgive them?by Richard Wilson / June 20, 2012 / Leave a comment
Published in July 2012 issue of Prospect Magazine
Lord’s Resistance Army soldiers posing in 2008: victims of the war in Uganda have been offered the chance to forgive participants
In the rage-filled summer that followed my sister’s murder, a close friend was reduced to tears as I described my efforts to track down those responsible. “But don’t you think you should try to forgive?” she implored me. At the time, the question just made me feel angrier, more frustrated, and more alone.
Charlotte had been killed with 20 of her fellow bus passengers in an ambush by rebels on a remote hillside above Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi. Hutus were released unharmed. The last to leave was told to tell the authorities “we’re going to kill them all and there’s nothing you can do.” Tutsis and foreigners were stripped, robbed, forced to lie face down on the ground and shot at point blank range.
Not only were the killers unrepentant, they were continuing to kill. Each week brought new reports of massacres in the same area. The same randomness—the same casual sense of entitlement.