CVR exhumes human remains in mass grave in Kamenge

Since December 16, the Burundian Truth and Reconciliation Commission [CVR] has been exhuming human remains in the mass grave identified in the former Kamenge market in Ntahangwa commune in the north of Bujumbura. This activity will take five days.

Human remains exhumed from a mass grave in the north of Bujumbura City

This 18 December, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission-CVR unearthed a person’s remains.
Pierre Claver Ndayicariye, CVR chairman says the administrative authorities of the Ntahangwa Commune informed the commission about the existence of a mass grave where people killed in 1993 crisis would have been thrown.

This crisis erupted after the assassination of the first democratically elected Burundian president and ended after the signing of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement between the government and the rebel movements in 2000.

Mr Ndayicariye says some inhabitants of Kamenge neighborhood would have buried theirs killed in that crisis in this site because the security situation of that time did not allow them to conduct funerals in the legally known cemeteries.

“CVR has started since December 16 the process of exhuming remains of people thrown there,” he says adding that the process will continue until Friday 20 December.

He specifies that the machine used to clear the land has been rented for this work. “We ask the machine user to stop whenever bones or clothes that the victim was wearing appear. In this case, the CVR maneuvers continue the work of excavating bones,” he says.

He explains that the human bones unearthed will be preserved provisionally and CVR will conduct investigations and later on submit the results to the public authorities.

“Our goal is to establish dialogue with the public authorities so that we can finally bury these people with dignity after the truth is known,” says Ndayicariye, adding that this work allows families to mourn for their loved ones and bury them with dignity.

Mr Ndayicariye indicates that CVR has identified mass graves in all the provinces of the country.
The CVR is responsible for investigating and establishing the truth about the serious human rights violations and international humanitarian law violations committed during the period between 26 February, 1885 and 4 December, 2008.