The remains of more than 200 people killed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide have been uncovered in a village on the outskirts of the capital Kigali, the country’s memorial centre said Thursday.
The grim find, spread among four mass graves, was made on Sunday in the village of Rusororo by local people who had dug for several days, reaching depths of up to 20 metres (66 feet).
The managing director of the Kigali Memorial Center, Gatera Honore, said it was unsurprising that bodies were still being discovered nearly a quarter-century after the massacres.
“Hiding bodies was always one of the ways they planned to erase all the signs that they committed genocide,” Honore told AFP.
“The bodies found in Rusororo will not be the last to be found.”
The remains will be interred at a “dignified” location where relatives can honour them, he said.
When the bodies were exhumed on Sunday, some genocide survivors tried to identify lost loved-ones on the basis of clothes found in the graves.
The main association representing survivors, Ibuka, believes that the remains are part of a group of around 3,000 people who were brought together at Rusororo during the genocide but whose fate was never clear.
Around 800,000 people were slaughtered in Rwanda between April and July 1994 at the instigation of the hardline Hutu government.
Most of the victims were members of the Tutsi minority, but there were also Hutu moderates.
The blood-letting was halted when the Hutu extremists were ousted by a rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) led by Paul Kagame, who became president in 2000 and remains in office today
Kenya – US Army Refutes Al-Shabaab Exaggerated Report On Manda Bay
Al-Shabaab’s report on the Sunday attack at Manda Bay Airfield in Lamu County was exaggerated, the US military has said.
Manda Bay is an area where US forces provide training and counter-terrorism support to East African partners.
Following the ambush at dawn, the terror group issued a statement, saying there were “severe casualties on both Kenyan and American troops stationed there”.
It added, “The Mujahideen fighters covertly entered enemy lines, successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base and have now taken effective control of a part of the base.”
But the US Africa Command, Africom, dismissed the group’s statement, saying the message was distorted to create the wrong impression.
Congo Kinshasa – Kabila Tells UN to Withdraw Troops
Congolese President Joseph Kabila has called on UN peacekeepers to leave his country, lambasting two decades of inaction. Speaking at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Kabila vowed to “oppose any interference in the electoral process under way” stating that his government would cover the full cost.
“Despite the enormous challenges that still lay on our path, I reaffirm the irreversible character of holding the elections planned for the end of this year,” President Kabila told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
The vote for a new president has been delayed for two years, but Kabila insists polls will go ahead as planned on 23 December.
“Everything will be implemented in order to guarantee the peaceful and credible character of these polls.”
Yet the combination of insecurity and a deadly Ebola outbreak, makes the prospects of an election in DRC–a country four times the size of France–increasingly unlikely.
An attack on the town of Beni, in the east of the country on Saturday, left at least 21 people dead and prompted aid workers to suspend efforts to contain the Ebola virus in the area.
“The state has the duty to protect civilians,” says Johnson Ishara, president of the youth parliament in North Kivu, the epicenter of the latest Ebola outbreak.
“When they [civilians] are killed, it means that somebody has not done their job. It may be the army, a minister, or the President of the Republic. Whoever it is, we want things to change,” he told RFI.
For Kabila, the flare-up of violence is further proof that the UN peacekeeping mission, known as Monusco, has failed.
‘Tired of burying our dead’
“Twenty years after the deployment of UN forces in my country and due to the largely mixed operational results, my government reiterates its demand for the effective withdrawal of this multilateral force,” he told the UN.
“Congo finds Monusco underachieving and I can understand that,” Kris Berwouts, author of Congo’s Violent Peace: Conflict and Struggle since the Great African War, told RFI.
“But I still believe that Monusco always had and still has a dissuasive impact, that the fact of being there has had a decreasing impact on the intensity of the conflict.”
Not everyone agrees.
“Can we still call it a peacekeeping mission when people are killed in the cruelest of manners? Of course not!” says Ishara.
“After 19 years, I think that UN peacekeepers should be ashamed of themselves. In Beni, there are people who don’t even know the meaning of the word peace.”
Monusco was unavailable for comment at time of publishing.
The UN troops were sent to Congo in 1999, in the midst of a civil war that killed more than 3.3 million people. Nearly twenty years on, insecurity remains rife.
“We are tired. We are tired of burying our brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers, every day,” comments Ishara, who’s also the spokesperson of an NGO called the New Civil Society.
Along with other civil groups, he’s been demonstrating since Monday against the attacks on civilians, as part of a five-day “ghost town” protest.
On Wednesday, shops remained shut and no taxis were running.
In the eye of the storm
The insecurity caused by armed opposition groups, led the World Health Organization to warn of a “perfect storm” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that could cause the Ebola outbreak to spin out of control.
Storm or not, “Congo is dedicated to having the elections and wants to organize them in an environment as controlled as possible,” comments author Berwouts.
Little, however, is under control. There are 80,000 polling stations dotted across the country, with each one allocated five electoral assessors. With less than three months to go till the elections, none of the assessors have been trained, complain civil groups.
“We fear that the electoral commission will end up delaying the elections because of this challenge,” Jonas Thiombala, a member of le Comité laïc de coordination (CLC), a secular pressure group, told RFI.
Add to that, there’s controversy surrounding the delivery of the voting machines that are meant to arrive next month. The government has ruled out any help or interference from foreign actors, raising fears of a vote manipulation.
“In the last elections of 2011, there were also a lot of delays in the process,” says Berwouts. “In the last months, things accelerated and that was due to heavy investment by Monusco and mainly South Africa.”
This time, relations with both actors are strained. “Many people are concerned that we are going into an election which might not have the democratic quality which is needed,” warns Berwouts.
At the UN, Kabila lauded his achievements, saying his country was no longer a failed state, and he wants the world to give Congo the benefit of the doubt. Holding elections on time and ensuring they’re fair, may give him the credit he’s after.
Nnia Nwodo Etal Stained Their Hands In Blood Of Innocent Biafrans – IPOB
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) accuses Nnia Nwodo and South East governors of colluding with the Nigeria military in the massacre of unarmed Biafran agitators in Abia State last September. (more…)
Fulani Herdsmen – Man Escaped With Arrow On His Back
James Ibori And Dickson Throws Weight Behind Kanu, Endorse Biafra Referendum
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State and former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, weekend, reaffirmed their commitment to a referendum in the country, with the interest of the people of the South-South region an vital part of the discourse. (more…)
Bomb Explosion Hits Muna Garage In Maiduguri
Report from Muna Garage general area in Maiduguri says two suicide bombers have detonated improvised explosive devises strapped to their bodies at Muna Dalti.
There is no detail of the incident yet.
However, a resident said the suicide bombers might have died alone.
Nine Civilians Killed In Fresh Syria Govt’s Airstrikes
Three dead, 17 injured in Maiduguri suicide attack
The Police in Borno on Tuesday confirmed that three members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) were killed and 17 other persons injured in a Monday night suicide bomb attack in Maiduguri.
IPOB Drags Okezie Ikpeazu And Willie Obiano To US Court
The Indigenous People of Biafra, on Saturday, claimed it had secured a judgment in a court in the United States of America against Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State and his Abia State counterpart, Okezie Ikpeazu, (more…)
Ex US Ambassador Accuse Nigerian Government Of Dishonesty On Boko Haram
Global Human Rights Watchdog, Accuse Nigerian Military of Killing At Least 12 IPOB Members At Umuahia In September
Global human watchdog, Amnesty International (AI) has confirmed reports from different sources that innocent, unarmed members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were brutally massacred by the Nigerian military (more…)
Amnesty Report Condemns Illegal Detention Of IPOB Member, Bright Chimezie
Nigerian Govt Detains More Southern Cameroonian Separatists
Lone Warriors Rescue Sex Slaves, Rape Survivors In Central African Republic
BANGUI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – As the wife of a pastor, Hulda was getting ready for Christmas, hanging up decorations and preparing for church services in Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic, when gunshots shattered all attempts at festivities in December 2013. (more…)
Breaking – Nnamdi Kanu’s Case Files Vanishes From Nigerian Court
The court case files of Nnamdi Kanu vanishes from Nigerian Court of Appeal. Nigerian Court hearing the case of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has declared his case file missing. (more…)
Intersociety Condemns The Injustice Against Untried Biafrans In Detention
UNHCR condemns forced returns of Cameroon asylum-seekers from Nigeria
Nigerian Army Aiding Fulani Terrorists Arrests DPO For Killing Terrorist Herdsmen
Thousands Flee Violence In Eastern Dr Congo, Seek Shelter In Nearby Countries – Un Refugee Agency
30 January 2018 – Surging violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is driving thousands of Congolese into neighbouring Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda, the United Nations refugee agency said Tuesday. (more…)
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