On Tuesday, January 7th, 2020, activities to unearth the bodies started and so far, 28 bodies have been found.
Rubavu District administration urged residents to provide information about where other bodies were dumped during the genocide so that they can be properly buried and their cases brought to a court of justice.
Survivors of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi said that there is a possibility that some houses were built above mass graves and that some people are still reluctant to provide information.
Segacaca Hassan, a survivor of the genocide confirmed that in former Gisenyi, some houses are built above mass graves.
“Most of our people were dumped in pits and many of them were women with children. It is a challenge to unearth bodies in mass graves in residential areas since it implies, we would have to pay for the destroyed houses. We are requesting for the support of the government to help us deal with this issue so that we can bury our families properly.”
Ishimwe Pacifique, Rubavu Vice Mayor Social Affairs said that caterpillar trucks will be used to unearthing bodies in the remaining mass graves.
“We have found 28 bodies so far including 24 adults and 4 children. We will continue to unearth the bodies so that they can be buried properly. Rubavu Airport is a rocky platform and the machines will be used to ease the work.”
During the annual genocide commemoration period, Rubavu residents are constantly recommended to give information about where genocide victims were dumped and it is rumored that some victims were never found and that others were killed and thrown or buried alive at former ‘Commune Rouge’ in Gisenyi.
On Tuesday, January 7th, 2020, some of Rubavu residents who were begged to provide information on where victims’ bodies were dumped said they did not recall the exact course of events during the 1994 genocide against Tutsi.
In the past 5 years, several mass graves were discovered in Gisenyi including in 2015, a mass grave in front of Gisenyi Hospital where Tutsi victims were identified including late staff and patients who were killed during the genocide.