Queen of hearts Rwanda: a tragic story of the life and struggle of Rosalie Gicanda

The wife of king Mutara III of Rwanda, Rosalie Gicanda called angel, who lived among the mortals, and her open heart and kind soul have inspired the subjects of the former African Kingdom to believe the best even in the darkest times. Telling the sad story of the last Queen of Rwanda until the last breath fought for peace in their country.

Queen of hearts Rwanda: a tragic story of the life and struggle of Rosalie Gicanda

Queen of hearts Rwanda: a tragic story of the life and struggle of Rosalie Gicanda

The death of her husband, a series of disturbances and riots in the country, the overthrow of the monarchy — Rosalie of Gicanda faced with many difficulties in life, however, neither test was able to break her spirit. Her contemporaries called her the people's Queen and admired the enthusiasm with which the wife of king Mutara III Rudahigwa took every resident of Rwanda in his house and penetrated in every told her the problem.

However, despite all the good that brought Gicanda in the world, her fate ended tragically, but her memory still lives in every resident of the African state.

Rosalie of Gicanda was born in 1928 in the Eastern part of Rwanda. Rosalie was a senior child of the five children in her family — her younger brother Charles, the future Queen in childhood felt responsible for his family and enjoyed taking care of brothers and sisters.

After a few years the family of Rosalie moved to the Central district of the Kingdom, where the girl was waiting for a new life. In 14 years of Gicanda was one of those whom the representatives of the monarchy has chosen the role of the future wife of the king. Rosalie along with the other girls was in the Palace, where she, according to one source close to the Royal family, had to undergo a special rite and to demonstrate their desire to become the king's wife.

The essence of this process lies in the fact that all the selected girls had to undress completely in the presence of the monarch and his servants.

Queen of hearts Rwanda: a tragic story of the life and struggle of Rosalie Gicanda

Rosalie of Gicanda and king mutara III, 1957

Rosalie, brought up in the Catholic faith, are unable to take this step and refused to comply with the requirement Mutara III, after which the king, admiring the daring of the girl, chose Gikondo wives. The future spouses were married according to Christian tradition, and Rosalie Gicanda became the new Queen of Rwanda.In marriage, the Royal couple appeared the heirs, however, Rosalie thought their children all the subjects of the Kingdom. According to the staff of the Palace, the king's consort was a modest and well-mannered girl who took all those in need and with interest listened to their problems. "She ordered the servants to let everyone who came to see her.

Rosalie gave them milk, listened and tried to help. It was available for everyone. She was a popular Queen," said Charles of Rubberland, the younger brother of the Queen, spent several years in the walls of the Palace. But very soon in the Kingdom, the unrest, which marked a new and sad Chapter in the history of Rwanda.

In 1944, the country began a terrible famine, caused by drought and lack of resources in connection with military operations, which killed about 20% of the population of Rwanda. Residents fled in panic from the Kingdom to neighbouring States, and hostile Hutu peoples, who lived in the territory of Rwanda and sought to seize power from the Tutsi, were building plans for a coup.

Queen of hearts Rwanda: a tragic story of the life and struggle of Rosalie Gicanda

The tension in the country grew, and in 1954 king mutara III Rudahigwa stated the need for independence of Rwanda from Belgium. This step does not accept neither the Belgian monarchy nor the representatives of the Hutu people, who soon released "Manifesto Bahutu" calling for the release of, primarily, from the reign of the Tutsi, and then from the Belgian intervention.

In 1959 in the life of Rosalie was a terrible tragedy — under mysterious circumstances, her husband died, king mutara III. The official cause of death was brain hemorrhage, but in the Kingdom there were rumors that the monarch killed the representatives of the Hutu people, which caused even more concern in society.

As Mutara III had no children, the next monarch was the brother of the king Kigeli V, with Rosalie of Gicanda remained in the Palace, continuing their educational activities.

Queen of hearts Rwanda: a tragic story of the life and struggle of Rosalie Gicanda

In 1960, the new king of Rwanda Kigeli V fled the country, fearing that the representatives of the Hutu people deal with it. This event became a decisive moment in the history of the Kingdom, and in 1962 the monarchy was officially overthrown, and Rwanda became an independent Republic. A year later

the country again witnessed a war of riots, which killed about ten of thousands of members of Tutsi residents were in panic, many political figures in haste left the former Kingdom of Rwanda, however, Rosalie Gicanda refused to leave her country and its people. She continued to live in one of the cities of Rwanda, caring for her sick mother.It is noteworthy that even while people continued to come to her house to hear the kind words of support. One of the residents of the country described the life of Rosalie after the overthrow of the monarchy:

And in 1994 in Rwanda began a terrible period of mass murders of the Tutsi people, which was the largest genocide in the history of Rwanda. During these events killed approximately one million civilians, including the last Queen of Rwanda, Rosalie of Gicanda.

Queen of hearts Rwanda: a tragic story of the life and struggle of Rosalie Gicanda

April 20, 1994 at 11 a.m. in the Rosalie house is stormed by armed soldiers acting on the decree of the head of intelligence and military operations at an elite military training school, Ecole Superiere des Sous-Officiers Ildefonso Nizeyimana, and kidnapped the former Queen, along with those who were at this moment in her house. The soldiers left alive, only her sick mother and little girl who helped Rosalie with the housework.

The soldiers led the prisoners to the walls of the National Museum and shot them, throwing the bodies of the victims in a common grave nearby. Two days later they came back to rosalee's house and killed her mother.

Queen of hearts Rwanda: a tragic story of the life and struggle of Rosalie Gicanda

A resident of Rwanda pays tribute to Queen Rosalie Gicanda in place of her burial

A little later, the priest, lived in Butare, together with the mayor of the city dared to find the body of Rosalie to bury him in the yard of her home. Then people began to come to the house Gikandi to honor her memory.Her younger brother Charles of Rubberland who left the country many years ago, said that he learned of the death of Rosalie from his friend two days after her murder:

Soon the news of the murder of the former Queen spread throughout Rwanda and sparked a wave of mass protests. Thanks to the efforts of the Rwandan Patriotic front in the genocide was stopped, and the majority of the Hutus who were declared war criminals fled to neighboring countries.

Some of the participants of those terrible events still managed to prosecute. Soon after the establishment of the peace and order of the arrested leaders of the units that participated in the murder of Rosalie Gicanda. They were found guilty of genocide and murder of the Queen and sentenced to death.

And in 2009, was caught by one of the most wanted war criminals of Rwanda, the Ildefons of Nizeyimana, who personally ordered the murder of Rosalie. In 2012, he was convicted of the murder of the Queen, and other representatives of the killings of Tutsis, and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Shortly after the terrible events of 1994, the body of Rosalie Gicanda was reburied in the cemetery where rests her husband, king mutara III. Today people still come to her tomb to Express gratitude to the people's Queen, and the memory of her as one of the most generous representatives of the monarchy, remained forever in their hearts.

Keywords: Struggle | Life | Queen | Rwanda

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