February 29, 2024

Remains of over 100 victims of genocide in Rwanda retrieved from mass graves

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Xinhua

The remains of nearly 120 victims of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi have been retrieved from mass graves in a village in southern Rwanda’s Huye District, roughly 30 years after the genocide, an official of the association of genocide survivors group (IBUKA) said Wednesday.

Over the past few days, the remains of 119 victims of genocide against Tutsi have so far been dug out of mass graves in a family compound of a resident of Ngoma village, according to Napthali Ahishakiye, executive secretary of IBUKA.

“Volunteers started to dig up the remains after a resident tipped off local authorities about the possibility of a mass grave there,” Ahishakiye told Xinhua.

“It had been kept secret until someone volunteered to give information, but it is likely that those who lived in the house knew about it,” he said.

Local authorities said investigations about the mass grave started last October after residents who were digging a foundation for the construction of a house fence dug out the remains of six people.

Stressing the importance of genocide survivors being able to locate where the bodies of their loved ones were buried, Ahishakiye said the recently discovered remains are being kept in plastic bags and will be given a decent burial at an appropriate time.

Local residents said some former soldiers of the past government lived in the area where the remains were discovered, and the soldiers played a big role in the killings of members of the Tutsi ethnic group.

Horrible crimes were committed in the Ngoma area in Huye District during the genocide as Tutsi were murdered in cold blood, some at roadblocks erected by military personnel, according to IBUKA.

The remains of more than 100,000 genocide victims are said to have been retrieved across Rwanda over the past five years.

About 1 million people, mostly of the Tutsi community and moderate Hutus, were killed by Hutu extremists in a span of 100 days during the genocide in 1994.

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