Four Genocide Mass Graves Discovered After 24 Years
24 years after the dreadful genocide of 1994, 4 mass graves have been discovered in kabezi village, kabuga cell in rusororo sector Gasabo district in the province of Rwanda. The mass graves were dug way back in 1992 by the then Hutu leaders who already had plans of cleaning up Rwanda by killing all the non-Hutu ethnicities in the country. The major aim of the mass graves was to prepare where to dump the bodies during the upcoming genocide. By then, new political leaders and Rwanda patriotic army were fighting to set Rwanda free from dictatorial leaders. The graves were discovered by a local woman who reported to government officials. However, a question in mind is how these graves would have existed in this place for 24 years without any person coming out to report about the incident. The woman who reported the incident owns a big piece of land in that area and feared to loose her property. As she had predicted it, a number of houses had been destroyed to excavate bodies. As of now, two graves have been excavated where at least 207 bodies have been exhumed from one grave and 156 bodies in another grave.
The newly found graves were discovered by the Rwanda government officials which after a long time of investigations. Whereas some people had information about the mass graves, others lived in this area without any information about what happened. It was realized that during the genocide, people would be killed and dumped in these deep halls, which were later covered. After the genocide, people came and occupied the area while others relocated to other areas. In an effort to find missing people, different families showed up at the site to check the discovered bodies and see whether the could recognize their people who went missing for 24 years.
According to the report from some local people and the officials from ibuka, the umbrella organization for genocide survivors, it’s inconceivable that the mass graves have been there for years but local residents and area genocide convicts had been keeping quite until the government official found out about it. At this point, the government hired a tractor to exhume bodies but nothing could be found because the indicated spot was not the right one. The graves were discovered early this week and the exercise of exhuming these graves to resume the bodies have already started. The exact number of people who were dumped in these graves has not been known since. At this time, the local people especially those who lost their dear ones are blaming the convicts for not reveling this information before so these people would be given a descent burial. Its heart breaking that even after forgiving and releasing some genocide convicts, these people kept quite and did not give any information about whereabouts of these people for their families to search for them and give them a descent burial.
According to some sources, most people who lived in these communities were killed and dumped in these graves while other shifted to different areas leaving this place isolated. It has also been discovered that over roughly 3000 victims who came from surrounding communes were dumped in five mass graves, which in the are but one is yet to be identified.
After discovering these graves, many people especially genocide survivors and those who lost their members are seen in the area checking to see if they can recognize their members. These people are seen cross checking the torn clothes, which the victims were putting on before the massacre. Also, other people are seen inspecting through the old album they discovered from the grave , which was discovered in the grave to see if it belonged to their people. The survivors have just discovered that all long the genocide convicts intentionally withheld the information regardless of the endless calls to reveal the truth but all in vain. Since 1994 in the genocide, the government officials and other responsible bodies had not acquired accurate information since different people would provide different and misleading information.
The process of exhuming all bodies is under way and they will all be given a descent burial just as it was done in other genocide memorial centers. At the end of the genocide, over 3000 people wen missing without any knowledge of their where about by their families. Such as over 800,000 people are discovered and given descent burials over 3000 people were not recovered which left their families in sorrow of losing their people with no information about their where about. The recent discovered graves therefore confirm that these people were killed and dumped in these graves. Most of the victims were off course the Tutsi and Batwa who were brutally y killed by the Hutu. At this time, local residents are confident that all people who have been missing are contained in these graves and will be buried decently.
The discovery of new mas graves is a great shock to Rwanda government where local people are found comfortable living with these graves and never bothered to reveal the news to the government and bereaved families. It’s a clear indication that much as Rwanda people have been reconciled and brought back together, a few cruel people are still living in the area and not willing to reveal the information.