As a memoir of a terrible ethnic cleansing genocide against the Tutsi by the Hutu people in Rwanda, a valley dam that authorities in Rwanda say could contain about 30,000 bodies has been discovered more than a quarter-century after.
In just 100 days in 1994, about 800,000 people were slaughtered in Rwanda by ethnic Hutu extremists. They were targeting members of the minority Tutsi community, as well as their political opponents, irrespective of their ethnic origin.
Rwanda on Tuesday marks the 26th anniversary of the genocide, but because of the lockdown due to Covid-19, the country has said citizens will follow events on television and social media as gatherings are banned.
The discovery has been called the most significant in years, after the genocide claimed about 800,000 lives. According to the Associated Press, 50 bodies have been exhumed so far in efforts that are challenged by the East African nation’s coronavirus-related lockdown.
Word of the valley dam and the bodies it held emerged as many people convicted in the genocide are being released from prison after serving their sentences and offering new information on mass graves. Other information on the dam came from nearby residents.
“The challenge we face now is that the valley dam contains water, but we are trying to dry it up,” Naphtal Ahishakiye, the executive secretary of genocide survivor organization Ibuka, told The Associated Press. The valley is outside the capital, Kigali, in the country’s east.