Rwanda exhuming mass grave of 5,000 genocide victims

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FILE PHOTO: People prepare coffins containing newly discoverd remains of 84,437 victims of the 1994 genocide before a funeral ceremony at the Nyanza Genocide Memorial, suburb of the capital Kigali, on May 4, 2019. - The remains of nearly 85,000 people murdered in Rwanda's genocide were laid to rest on May 4 in a sombre ceremony in Kigali, a quarter of a century after the slaughter. (Photo by Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP) (Photo credit YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)
Men carry 81 coffins containing newly discoverd remains of 84,437 victims of the 1994 genocide during a funeral ceremony at the Nyanza Genocide Memorial, suburb of the capital Kigali, on May 4, 2019. – The remains of nearly 85,000 people murdered in Rwanda’s genocide were laid to rest on May 4 in a sombre ceremony in Kigali, a quarter of a century after the slaughter. (Photo by Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP) (Photo credit should read YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

Local authorities, residents, and Ibuka, an umbrella organization of genocide survivors associations, are jointly exhuming a mass grave believed to contain remains of about 5,000 victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide in Gatsibo District, eastern Rwanda, a local official said Wednesday.

The exhumation of the mass grave recently discovered in the Kiziguro sector according to testimonies of genocide survivors started on Tuesday and could take about three weeks, Mayor of Gatsibo District Richard Gasana told Xinhua in a telephone interview.

The pit, which was reportedly dug in the 1970s for water supply, is estimated to be 30 meters deep, said Gasana, adding that the exhumation had been delayed to prepare relatives of the victims.

The authorities and Ibuka have been appealing for Rwandans with information that could help identify undisclosed mass graves of the genocide victims to come forward.

Remains of the genocide victims are still being discovered in many parts of Rwanda over two decades after the genocide that killed over one million people, mainly ethnic Tutsis.

In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the remains of 118,049 victims were discovered in 17 districts across the central African country, according to the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide

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