Remains of over 5000 victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi have been exhumed in a 24.6 meter-deep mass grave in Kiziguro sector of Gatsibo district.
The activity carried out by Gatsibo district in partnership with IBUKA (umbrella organization of genocide survivors) lasted over one month from 12th October was completed on 18th November 2020.
The President of IBUKA in Gatsibo district, Sibomana Jean Népomucène has told IGIHE that it was a difficult activity that bulldozers were utilized to exhume remains in the mass grave.
“As we exhumed remains, we reached a rocky- surface. We were obliged to utilize a bulldozer to exhume remains from the 24.6 deep-meter mass grave. We estimate the number of remains to be over 5000. Some of them have been damaged; others mixed with soil that it is not easy to precise the exact figure,” he said.
Sibomana revealed that they are spraying chemicals especially on damaged remains to ensure safety of people cleaning them.
“We will concurrently cleaning clothes and remains and hope to have completed the new memorial under construction at the beginning of the next commemoration period in April where we will lay them decently,” he noted.
Sibomana appealed on people to reveal whereabouts more victims are dumped to accord them decent burial and soothe relatives’ hearts.
He explained that they are negotiating with families who laid 253 remains of relatives at homes in Bugarura of Remera sector so that they can be relocated to the decent memorial being constructed.
Kiziguro memorial being upgraded is home to 142,000 remains of genocide victims killed in former Commune Murambi.
Jean Baptiste Gatete, the mayor of former Murambi commune who was behind the killings of Tutsis in the area was convicted and handed 40-year sentence which he is serving in Arusha.