Genocide victims extracted from Kayonza dam now 78

The community initiative to exhume victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi from the water dam located between sectors of Ruramira and Nyamirama in Kayonza District has on its third day found 52 bodies.

This brings the total number to 78 Genocide victims waiting for decent burial; following five exhumed on April 8, and 15 exhumed on April 6.


A week prior, some six victims were also exhumed by excavators that were removing water from the dam constructed in 1970s, according to Longin Gatanazi, executive secretary of Ruramira Sector.


He said, “This is just the beginning, we still have a lot of work to do, we only did three days and the remaining area is bigger that where we have excavated.”


“We are not going to stop soon,” he told The New Times.

Located between Gikaya Cell in Nyamirama Sector and Nkamba Cell in Ruramira, formerly Kabarondo Commune, the dam is known to be a place where thousands of Tutsis were dumped in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Most of the victims had fled to the area from the former communes of Kabarondo, Rutonde and Kayonza.

There are no official estimates of numbers known to have been dumped here, but many suggest that more than 3,000 were dumped in the dam that was used for agriculture purposes.

More than 50 victims were given decent burial in Ruramira Genocide Memorial during last year’s commemoration period, after being exhumed from the same dam in summer of 2018 when the water level was lower.

This made the government think of the possibility to remove the water and search for more victims who could have been dumped there.

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