7000 bodies identified in fourteen mass graves in Ruvubu site

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR) has started the activities of exhuming the remains of dead bodies buried in mass graves in Ruvubu site in Karusi province this January 27.

CVR started to exhume remains of dead bodies in Ruvubu site

Pierre Claver Ndayicariye, CVR Chairman has said that the victims are from Gitega, Karusi, Ruyigi and Muyinga Provinces and were killed in the 1972 crisis.
“The victims were first killed in Gitega prison before being thrown in mass graves dug by mechanical devices overnight near Ruvubu bridge,” he said.

Mr. Ndayicariye has also said the tragic event would not occur once again in Burundi. “This is a place of tragedy, a place of painful memories and fearful silence,” he said.
He goes on to say that eyewitnesses, survivors, orphans and writers consulted have revealed that there are more than 14 mass graves including seven confirmed where human bones have already been found.

Pierre Claver Ndayicariye has mentioned that victims include teachers, other civil servants, soldiers, small traders, more or less well-off peasants, pupils, religious people and Burundians of all categories and ethnic groups.

“Catholic Church confirms 7000 dead bodies in its book on the life of Father Michel Kayoya, also killed in 1972,” said Mr Ndayicariye.

Vénant Mpozako, a priest at Mugera parish and member of the Commission for the canonization process of Father Michel Kayoya said Burundi was wounded. “There has been too much suffering. There is a need to heal wounded Burundians for reconciliation”, he said. Mr Mpozako encourages the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to go ahead.

Local residents, administrative officials and diplomats also attended the ceremonies of exhuming the remains of dead bodies buried in mass graves. Some bones including skulls, femurs, shins as well as the clothes that the disappeared people were wearing could be seen.