7 June 2018

Rwanda: Man Arrested for Attempted Bribery in Effort to Thwart Exhumation of Genocide Victims

Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) has taken a man into custody for allegedly attempting to bribe an official from Ibuka, the umbrella organisation of Genocide survivors' associations, for the latter to stop an ongoing exercise to exhume remains of Genocide victims.

Remains of hundreds of victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi are reportedly buried in a mass grave beneath the suspect's house in Kabuga, Rusororo Sector in Gasabo District.

According to RIB, the suspect, identified as Papias Mbarushimana, was caught red-handed by their detectives while handing a bribe of Rwf200,000 to Emmanuel Nduwayezu, the Ibuka president in Rusororo Sector.

"The bribe was meant for stopping the process of uncovering remains of victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi who were buried beneath his house," reads a post on RIB's official twitter handle.

The process to exhume the remains of Genocide victims in the area started almost two months ago after the first mass grave was discovered in a residential area in Kabeza village, Kabuga I cell in Rusororo Sector, Gasabo District.

Progressively, more mass graves were discovered in surrounding areas and so far remains of nearly 1,000 victims have been exhumed while it is expected that up to 5,000 could have been buried in those mass graves, over which houses have been built.

Victims are people who had fled from different areas surrounding Kabuga to seek refuge in the town.

According to RIB, Mbarushimana will, on top of bribery, be charged with genocide denial, through attempting to hide remains of the victims.

"Hiding Genocide victims' remains is an act of Genocide denial, RIB therefore appeals to the public to desist from corruption by Genocide deniers and continue sharing information on where Genocide victims were (hastily) buried so as to accord them a decent burial," RIB said.

Ibuka officials said the exercise of exhuming bodies in mass graves was ongoing and that thereafter the exhumed bodies will be given a decent burial.

Modeste Mbabazi, the RIB spokesperson, said the suspect is currently detained at the RIB station in Masaka in Kicukiro District.

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