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REMAINS OF NEARLY 200 VICTIMS OF GENOCIDE IN RWANDA DISCOVERED IN MASS GRAVES

A genocide survivor group, IBUKA, and authorities in Rwanda announced Wednesday the discovery this week of the remains of nearly 200 victims from the 1994 genocide. The graves are located in Ngoma village in the Huye district in southern Rwanda. By James Tasamba

“Remains of more than 180 people were dug out of mass graves over the past two days in a banana plantation of a resident,” Goretti Uwonkunda, a member of the committee in charge of the excavations, told reporters.

She said the victims were buried with blunt materials, a sign they could have died a cruel death.

Another mass grave was discovered last week on a family compound in the same village, where remains of 210 victims have been dug out so far, according to IBUKA Executive Secretary Napthali Ahishakiye.

That brings the total to 392 bodies that have been recently discovered.

Ahishakiye said volunteers started to dig up the remains after a resident tipped off authorities about the possibility of a mass grave in the area.

Huye district leader Ange Sebutege said excavation continues and urged residents to volunteer information on where bodies of victims could have been dumped to accord them a befitting burial.

Investigations about the mass graves started in October after residents who were digging a foundation for the construction of a home fence dug out the remains of six victims.

The remains are kept in plastic bags pending a decent reburial while the tattered clothing will give survivors clues to identify their loved ones.

Genocide survivors have said horrible crimes were committed in the Ngoma area during the genocide as members of the Tutsi community were murdered at roadblocks erected by former military personnel.

Last year, the remains of 1,100 victims were discovered in mass graves on a plantation of a Catholic church in the western district of Rusizi.

The remains of more than 100,000 victims have been exhumed from mass graves across Rwanda in the past five years, according to IBUKA.

In April, Rwanda will mark the 30th anniversary of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi ethnic group in which 1 million victims were killed by Hutu extremists.

Author: MANZI
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