Sleeping on Bodies of Genocide Victims

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By Daniel Sabiiti

At least eight bodies were this April 12, 2017 found buried under a house belonging to one- Boniface- who is currently serving a genocide sentence.

For 23 years the family of Boniface in Nyakabanda sector, Nyarugenge district has been sitting and dinning over bodies of the 1994 genocide victims buried under their house.

At least eight bodies were this April 12, 2017 found buried under a house belonging to one- Boniface- who is currently serving a genocide sentence.

Sources indicate that Boniface had informed his wife about the bodies but she intentionally refused to pass on the information, despite survivors asking for it over the last two decades.

By Friday last week, the patience of residents and survivors over this withheld information had run out and they stormed the house with hoes and spades to dig out the house foundation in search of the said bodies.

“None of them was able to point a finger until one of their children did so. We spent a whole weekend digging up with no clue but suspicion since there was a mass grave around this area and we have been seeking for clues for years” said Paulin Rugero, an official in charge of social affair at the umbrella of Genocide Survivors’ association (IBUKA).

A new research shows that over one million people were killed during the genocide against Tutsi, but while some bodies have been laid to rest, genocide survivors say that there is a lot of information on the whereabout of many victims.

Some of the survivors, whose families were killed, only have clues of the last spot where their relatives and families were last seen, and have not been to find their bodies.

For example in Bugesera district, Tujyinama Silas, 64, killed two people during the genocide against Tutsi and no one knew about it until this but only revealed this information on April 11, 2017 during a commemoration public lecture event in Mwogo sector

Police Spokesman ACP Théos Badege says that the suspect has since been arrested but genocide survivors in Mwogo are demanding for details of where the suspect buried the two bodies-

“There is a lot of lacking information on the whereabouts of bodies of many genocide victims. The families of survivors are restless and they don’t have any clue. All we want is to give them a decent burial” Vedaste Rwabukanga, the Ibuka representative in Bugesera said.

Genocide ideology cases have continued to be rampart especially during the commencement of the 100 days of the 23rd genocide commemoration, with some cases of killing, and damaging property of genocide survivors countrywide.

In Rubavu district police arrested Edouard Bosenibamwe, 31, who is suspected to have killed a 70-year old genocide widow, Rosalie Pfabakuze by arson.

A 2016 genocide report showed that cases of genocide denial and genocide ideology had gone down in the past 22 years, but the National Commission for Fight against the Genocide (CNLG) says that new forms are coming up.

One of the new forms of genocide denial and ideology is manifested in the comments sections of news sites, where people disguise themselves with pseudonyms and comment on news articles and spread the genocide ideology and denying the genocide, according to Jean Damascene Bizimana, the executive secretary of CNLG.

The most common cases also are in verbal attacks and utterances, which without third party evidence and physical evidence remain the most commonly used to attack genocide survivors.

For example in Emeline Kazeneza who had a child with a Genocide survivor yesterday got into heated argument with Felix Bimenyimana over demarcation between their coffee fields and tempers get frayed to the extent to exchange acrimonious words.

Bimenyimana, 29 is reported to have told Kazeneza that he can finish her off though he has given birth to a Survivor’s child.  This altercation happened while Laurence Mukamusoni, his mother aged 59 was there.

Bimenyimana admitted his guilt saying that he did it due to a fit of anger and wrote a document requesting for forgiveness, said Dushime adding that he’s going to be handed over to Police for prosecution.

Genocide ideology motivated utterance and Genocide trivialization activities are very common days before and during the 100 days of every annual commemoration of the genocide against Tutsi.

For instance, in 2016, 40 people were arrested across the country during the Genocide commemoratin week, in connection with Genocide ideology.

Last week, Gasabo District police apprehended a man in Bumbogo Sector after verbally threatening to kill his wife- a Genocide Survivor- and have her body rot before start of the 100-days Genocide commemoration kicked off on April 7, 2017.

Another survivor’s cow in Kicukiro district was attacked under the cover of darkness by unidentified people and hacked it around the neck with machete leaving the animal for dead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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