Rwanda: Fifteen Genocide Victims Exhumed From Kayonza Dam

Remains of fifteen Genocide victims were on Monday, April 6, excavated from a water dam in Kayonza District. This was on the the first day of the exhumation exercise in the valley dam located between Nyamirama and Ruramira sectors.

The exercise had initially been scheduled to start Friday last week but was postponed due to a heavy downpour.

Longin Gatanazi, Ruramira Sector Executive Secretary, told The New Times, "On Friday, it rained, and there happened some challenges on Saturday, this was the actual first day."

Not the whole dam was excavated, though, as it is "only a small area," dug by the people using hoes.

Didace Ndindabahizi, Chairperson of umbrella body of Genocide survivors, Ibuka, in Kayonza District, said it was just the beginning and there was hope that more victims will be exhumed and given a decent burial.

"We are in the right direction, we base on the information from Genocide perpetrators who have served their sentences and information from survivors on which parts of the dam the victims were dumped," he said.

Ndindabahizi added that they had identified a hole that had been dug on the side of the dam to prevent the water from flooding into the marshland farms.

"We were also told that there might be many bodies in there," he said, adding that it was agreed that this hole will also be drained to try to find more bodies," he declared.

Due to COVID-19 lockdown and measures to control the pandemic's spread, the exhumation involved "a few people" from both sectors, less than 50 people from each side, according to Gatanazi.

This activity will resume on Wednesday as Tuesday is the national launch of Genocide commemoration, Kwibuka26.

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