Busingye vows crackdown on people hiding information about location of genocide remains

Busingye addresses mourners at Murambi Genocide Memorial in Nyamagabe District on Sunday. Michel Nkurunziza.

The Minister for Justice, Johnston Busingye, has pledged to take serious action on people who know where remains of the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi were dumped but are still reluctant to reveal their whereabouts.

The Attorney General was reacting to an appeal by Genocide survivors in Nyamagabe District on Sunday as thousands of mourners gathered to remember the more than 50,000 Genocide victims buried at Murambi memorial site.

Through their representative, Fidèle Rwamuhizi, survivors in the district asked the Government to compel people who have information on where the bodies of their loved ones where dumped to release it.

“Many Tutsi were killed at Kigeme hospital where they had gone to seek refuge. We are surprised because the employees who were present and observing how the killings were being committed are still alive but do not share information about where victims were thrown. We hope that something will be done so that such people show us the whereabouts of our loved ones. We need to accord to our relatives and friends decent burial,” he said

Commenting on the appeal, Busingye said that: “We have been receiving complaints about people who know the truth about the Genocide, who know where victims’ bodies were dumped but do not tell the whole truth or totally keep it as a secret which…”

This is a major concern, he said, promising to take appropriate measures.

Michel Kayitaba shared a testimony of torture and killings against the Tutsi since 1959, saying that about 17 members of his family were killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and that some of them are yet to get decent burial.

During the Genocide against the Tutsi some, people were convinced to seek refuge at Murambi Technical School and Church. However, it turned out to be a successful ploy for the army and Interahamwe militia who subsequently killed more than 50,000 Tutsi there on April 21.

The place is known for being a birthplace of Genocide perpetrators such as Col. Aloys Simba, Laurent Bucyibaruta, the then prefect of Gikongoro, who currently stays in France, and Captain Faustin Sebuhura.

During the commemoration event on Sunday, remains of 294 victims were relocated from Gasaka memorial to Murambi memorial site, which is a former Technical School.