Remains of near 800 genocide victims exhumed in eastern Rwanda


Remains of at least 791 victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide against Tutsi have been exhumed from the shores of Lake Mugesera in eastern Rwanda since the search started in January, said Rwanda’s umbrella organization of genocide survivors associations, IBUKA, on Tuesday.

The remains were discovered in Rukumbeli Sector, Ngoma District, following a tip-off from a child who tended goats on the lake shores and spotted human remains including bones and skulls, Ngoma district president of IBUKA Jean-Pierre Musafiri told Xinhua in a telephone interview.

“We intensified the search from August 26 and thereafter have recovered at least 547 remains of the genocide victims. The daily search continues until the whole area is combed for human remains,” said Musafiri.

According to him, recovering the remains of the genocide victims is a great relief to survivors, most especially those who didn’t know the whereabouts of their loved ones or didn’t give the victims a decent burial.

More than 40,000 Tutsis killed during the 100-day genocide, which claimed over one million lives, mainly ethnic Tutsis, have been laid to rest at the Rukumbeli genocide memorial site, according to Musafiri.

He appealed to all Rwandans with information that could help in identifying undisclosed mass graves of the genocide victims to come forward.

Remains of the 1994 Rwandan genocide are still being discovered in many parts of Rwanda. In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the remains of 118,049 genocide victims were discovered in 17 districts countrywide, according to the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide.

Last year the commission said the Rwandan government is considering the use of ground-penetrating radar to locate mass graves for the remains of the victims in order to give them a decent burial.

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