EDITORIAL: The Kabuga mass graves send an ominous message

Over 83,000 victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi were accorded a decent burial at Nyanza Memorial in Kicukiro District on Saturday. / Sam Ngendahimana

Sometimes Rwandans who endured the horrors of the 1994 Genocide and lived to tell, think they have seen it all; that nothing can surprise or shock them any longer.

That is not until the remains of over 84,000 victims are discovered buried under a bustling town on the outskirts of Kigali.

The secret had been lying buried for 25 years until a convicted genocidaire revealed the dark secret of the existence of over a hundred mass graves.

It has been alleged that some of the mass graves had been dug just before the Genocide, an indication that a grand conspiracy was in the making. As the body count rose, others were dug at the height of the Genocide with the help of the army engineering corps using mechanical equipment.

To mock the victims as they were being led to slaughter, the killers took them to a place known as Gahoromani in Kabuga, which they had nicknamed “CND”, referring to the current parliament building which was then home to a battalion of Rwanda Patriotic Army. The victims were being taken “home” for “protection”.

Similar “CND”s existed all over the country, the most vicious being in the current Rubavu Town in the Western Province. The killing grounds were named “Commune Rouge” (Red District) because of the blood of the thousands of victims on display.

So, back to Kabuga; when the Genocide came to a stop, many residents had fled with the government soldiers. Those who remained behind or came back later, for one reason or another, chose to keep their mouths shut. They sold plots of land to unsuspecting newcomers and then a whole town sprouted over the remains of innocents; 84,439 to be exact.

The conspiracy of silence in the Kabuga saga is very worrying and frightening, that we still have monsters in our midst.




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