Mass graves still being found almost 30 years after Rwanda genocide

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  • The remains of 119 people, believed to be victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, have been discovered in the country’s south.
  • Authorities are still finding mass graves nearly three decades after the genocide took place.
  • In Oct. 2023, six bodies were initially found under a house in Huye district, with more discovered during further investigations.

A Rwandan official said Thursday that the remains of 119 people believed to be victims of the 1994 genocide have been discovered in the country’s south, as authorities continue to find mass graves nearly three decades after the killings.

The remains of more victims continue to be found because perpetrators of the genocide tried their best to hide possibly incriminating information, Naphtal Ahishakiye, executive secretary of the genocide survivors’ organization Ibuka, told The Associated Press.

In October, authorities first found six bodies under a house that was being built in Huye district. They have since found more bodies there after investigating further, he said.

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“Those who committed the genocide,” Ahishakiye said, they fear that once the crimes are revealed, “the law will catch up with them.”

Rwanda mass grave

Remains of victims are retrieved from a site in Huye District, southern Rwanda on Jan. 23, 2024. A Rwandan official says the remains of 119 people believed to be victims of genocide have been discovered in the country’s south as authorities continue to find mass graves nearly three decades after the killings. (AP Photo)

In April, Rwanda will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the genocide, in which an estimated 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu were killed by Hutu extremists.

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Louise Uwimana, a genocide survivor and resident of Huye district, said she was saddened to learn that her neighbors had concealed information about mass graves at a time when the government is encouraging reconciliation.

When genocide perpetrators conceal information, she said, “I question this thing called reconciliation.”

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