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Genocide survivor, new citizen has message of hope

Updated at: 04/17/2013 6:05 PM
By VERENA DOBNIK

(AP) NEW YORK - A Rwandan genocide survivor who has just become a U.S. citizen has a message of hope for other new Americans.

Immaculee Ilibagiza (ih-MAK’-yoo-lee ee-luh-bag-EE’-zuh) became a naturalized American with 50 other immigrants at a Manhattan ceremony on Wednesday.

She is the author of the best-seller "Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust."

Ilibagiza told fellow immigrants how she survived the 1994 Rwandan genocide that claimed more than a half-million lives. She says her Tutsi father sent her to a Hutu neighbor who hid her and seven other women and girls in a tiny bathroom for three months.

The 43-year-old mother of two says her life now is about forgiving enemies who are emotionally lost.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)